Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Mental Tricks for Beginning Runners



Beginning any new undertaking can be daunting. Running is no different. Have you heard that half of running is all in your head? Well, I don't know the exact percentages, but my lungs play a major role in running success, too. I do know that when your brain isn't ready to run, neither is your body. Fortunately, many beginning runners have gone before you and they have left a wealth of information to assist you in transforming from a non-runner into a runner.
I'm a cheerleader at heart. I want to encourage you along your fitness path. These articles will offer advice on mental tricks to help you keep going when you want to stop, run when you don't feel like running, and make running something you crave rather than dread.

Read Something Inspiring for Runners

That’s right, I said READ something inspiring. I’m not talking about a fortune cookie, or a subway print found on Pinterest, or even this blog – although I am grateful you are here!  I’m talking about reading a book that inspires you and leaves you wanting to do and be more. It may be a book about running or fitness, yet it might be a book about survival or triumph over tragedy. Your inspiration for the day may come from a 600 page biography or from a single verse of scripture. It may come in the form or a quote posted on social media.
Reading something that inspires, uplifts, or encourages doing ones best helps her stay on the path both mentally and physically. Sometimes we need a mental or emotional boost to keep doing things that are hard, and running is hard, but it’s worth it!


Look Like a Runner

Wear your running clothes. I will admit that I don’t feel like running every morning when I get out of bed. In fact, there are often times that I lie there thinking of ways to get out of running that day. It's too windy. I'm too tired. There are no running buddies today. My phone isn't charged. I could go on.
I have learned this one simple trick. If I get dressed and wear my running clothes, shoes included, something magical often happens. My brain recognizes that I am a runner. My clothes make me look and feel like a runner. I have long said, “Looking good is half the battle.” When I look like a runner and my brain is convinced that I am a runner, it's much easier to begin.


Mental Tricks to Running Farther for Beginners

You've prepared to run by reading something to help you become determined. You've donned your running clothes so you feel like you are going to run. Now you are on the run ... and you want to quit ... because it is difficult. Inspiration and preparation got you running. Now you need to know how to keep running in the middle of the challenge.
Our brains are incredible things. We can talk ourselves into or out of almost anything. The fascinating thing about this is that we can do this talking and convincing consciously. We know we are deceiving ourselves and yet, it works! Dr. Norman Vincent Peale explores this in The Power of Positive Thinking.
Here are a few ways to trick yourself into running farther: Pick a stopping point and then run past it. Add distance at the beginning of your route. Brag about your run by letting others know that your ran farther today than last week.




Whatever your fitness level, you can begin today to improve. If you think you can't run, chances are you are wrong. It may take a little longer (you have to walk before you can run) and it may hurt a little bit (life hurts) but as I like to inscribe my book, The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny, "Life is hard. Keep moving forward!"

Do you have a mental trick that helps keep you moving? Please share it in the comments below.


Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
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