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!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mental Trick to Add Distance to Your Running Workout

Add distance at the beginning of a run.
This mental trick will help you add distance to your running workout. It is especially helpful when training for a 10K or half marathon. Those long runs can feel daunting as they increase in distance each week, especially when it's your first longer race. Add mileage at the beginning of a familiar course. Run a loop around your neighborhood before following your regular route or do a couple laps on the local high school track at the beginning of your run. It will help make the longer distance feel easier.

Here is the mental trick.

Adding mileage or distance at the beginning of a run allows the runner to finish her workout on familiar territory. The last mile of a four mile run will feel familiar and conquerable as it is the same mile she usually runs at the end of a three mile run. The runner will think, "I've got one mile to go. I've got this." Adding distance at the end of a route with which she is familiar will do the opposite. The runner will be mentally ready to quit prior to the added distance for the same reasons - she is on the last mile of her usual route. Although the distance is the same in both situations, an additional mile will be more mentally challenging when added at the end of the familiar route.

Try this:

Run a familiar route on Monday and again on Wednesday. On Friday or Saturday run the same route, but add a half to one mile run prior to tackling the same Monday/Wednesday route. The idea of longer distance may be challenging at the beginning of your workout, but by the end when you are on familiar territory it will feel conquerable. You may think, "I've got one mile to go. I've got this!" Your running app will confirm the accomplishment! Follow this same practice for a few weeks and pretty soon you will have doubled the distance on your long runs. Your next 5K race will feel short! It's all about perspective!

Whether you are a beginning runner or a seasoned competitor, this mental trick can help you in other parts of your life. When faced with a new challenge, surround yourself with familiarity. The people, positive practices and places that have helped you achieve success in the past can help you conquer the challenges ahead.

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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