Sunday, February 28, 2016

Running is a Mental Game

Not everyone appreciates just how much of a "mental game" running can be.  I have a friend at So What? I Run who did not like her workout yesterday and posted that she needs to turn on her mental game. I know that feeling.  It is one reason I ran four marathons in a row between 3:14:01 and 3:15:59 and then came back 18 months later and was able to run 3:09:49.  Yes, there were a lot of hard trained miles in there as well, but it was in large part a mental game helped along by my running guardian angel who had run behind me for 22 miles but who came up to finish with me.

Yesterday was another great example of mental game--even at the training level.  I love to run quickly.  Historically, I have loved to run more quickly than I should for many workouts.  Yesterday was an example of control.  I ran 5.4 miles at almost exactly target pace alone.  I then ran 7.5 miles with a training partner without having to look at our watches a little bit on either side of the target pace but none ridiculously fast or slow.  All while chatting.  A little over half way through I felt something that was not just sore but was more "that hurts" in my left thigh. But I relaxed, took a little off the pace, and it went away.  Part of a long developed mental reaction to what can go wrong.

Then, when we parted, I ran the 5.4 miles home.  And I maintained right on pace.  No major slow down or speed up.

Another part of the mental game is staying hydrated.  One might think that is not mental at all but almost instinctive, but I need to remind myself to take little drinks.  Yesterday I did on a regular basis.  Next challenge--bigger drinks on a regular basis to be fully and appropriately hydrated.  And that is mental. Reminders.  Notes.  Get it done.

So, my friend's note is an excellent remind of the importance of the mental game.  Makes me think about my own mental game--control, reminders, not "good enough" but "as good as it can be," and seeking the goal of 55.5 miles in May.  A mental game is the only way I'll get there.  

No comments:

Post a Comment