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!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mental Trick to Run Beyond Your Goal for Beginners

Choose a landmark and then run past it.

This mental trick will help you run beyond your goal. It's especially helpful to new or beginning runners. I use it to keep me moving when I want to quit. I’ve taught it to my middle school cross country runners and it works for them, too. When I am on a run I choose a landmark and plan to run to that mark before taking a walking break and I give myself permission to rest when I reach the goal. The landmark may be a crossroad or a driveway or mailbox. Rural running offers fields, canals and ditch banks, even a tractor parked in the field that can be used as landmarks. 

Here is the mental trick.

I force myself 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 for five to ten strides. I often find, however, that I can keep going because I have endured through the difficult part of my run. Perhaps the scenery has changed and I want to keep going or my perspective has changed. Sometimes I've controlled my breathing or the discomfort in my calf has moved to another part of my body. I may have reached a downhill slope on the course and running is suddenly easier. Whatever the reason, I usually find that I have endured a difficult stretch and I can now run farther.

Try this:

On your next run 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. Just look ahead and decide, “I can run to that point. Then I get to take a break.” In the meantime, determine to always run past the stopping point. You might choose to 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. Going a little farther will help you grow confidence and increase your physical endurance.

Whether you are a beginning runner or a seasoned competitor, this mental trick can help you in other parts of your life. If you think you can’t keep going through one of life's challenges, find a point to allow yourself a rest and then turn the corner, endure for another day, exercise patience one more time. Hang in there a little longer than you thought you could and things might get easier!

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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