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

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mental Tricks to Running Farther for Beginners

I didn't do any research before I began running. I donned a pair of shoes I had been walking in for awhile (longer than awhile) and set out on my first run. After 200 meters I had to stop and walk.Then I ran some more.Then I walked. I wanted to quit. I have been running for a few years and there are still times when I want to quit. I have learned there are ways to make oneself run a little farther when the desire to stop is looming large. If you have read Mental Tricks to Running Farther for Beginners, then perhaps 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.
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! 

Here are a few ways to trick yourself into running farther:

Pick a stopping point and then run past it.

You may choose a telephone pole, a driveway, or a crossroad as a point for a rest. (Walking counts as a rest.) Just look ahead and decide, “I can run to that point. Then I get to take a break.” Determine to always run past the stopping point. You might turn the corner, run up the driveway, or run to the next telephone pole. Force yourself to run beyond the landmark – even if it’s only a few steps.  If I have chosen a crossroads or corner as my goal, I run around the corner.  Sometimes I only run ten steps around the corner or beyond the goal.  I often find, however, that I can keep going because I have endured through the difficult part of my run or the scenery has changed and I want to keep going. Going a little farther will help you grow confidence and endurance.

Mental Trick to Run Beyond Your Goal for Beginners

Add distance at the beginning of your route.

This is particularly helpful when you begin adding mileage to your normal workout. If you have a familiar course, be it a couple neighborhood blocks, the local high school track, or a trail through a park, adding distance at the beginning of this route is a powerful mental trick. If you usually run a mile before resting, or even a three mile loop, add some distance at the beginning of your route. Begin with a half mile. Your brain is used to running through the end of that “usual” route. If you add distance to the beginning, when you reach a familiar spot your mind will say, “Oh, I know how far this is. I can run that far.” The end of the course will be familiar and feel the same as it usually feels at the end of your workout.

Mental Trick to Add Distance to Your Running Workout

Run for time rather than distance.

Switch your focus from visual to digital. In other words, don't look at the additional half mile ahead of you and think, "I won't make it!" Try setting your watch and then running for time. If you typically run a 10 minute mile and you are used to running 2 miles before taking a break, set your watch for 25 minutes. Choose a different route and run until you hear the alarm. You just added a half mile to your workout!

Mental Trick to Add Time to Your Running Workout with Music

Brag about your run.

Accountability is powerful! Whether you choose to share your recorded MapMyRun workout on social media, text a running buddy that you completed your first four mile run, or blog about your running experiences, you will be motivated to go a little farther down the road if you plan to share. I invite you to message me! Remember, I am a cheerleader. I don't care how fast or slow you go and I will gladly celebrate your accomplishments.

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
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!