With a marathon just a day away the thought of mental toughness comes to mind.
I never really considered myself a mentally tough runner. Yeah, I have had a few people tell me that I should not think this way but it is hard not to. We all have a little self doubt about our abilities whether we want to publically admit it or not.
I never really think about being mentally tough when I am racing. Racing is a time to push all external thoughts aside. Racing is a time to focus one thing and one thing only – racing. Everything else is just a distraction and takes away from your effort – at least in my opinion.
To me, people who exhibit mental toughness always seem race well.
How do they do this?
Again this is my own personal opinion, but I believe they do the following. They take their great days and turn them into something exceptional. They take the good days and attempt to turn them into great days. They take their bad days and turn them into good days.
Again do they do this?
They are realist. Not every run is going to be a PR run. Running involves so many factors. Any one factor could sabotage a race. They realize and understand that this will be the case.
One powerful example is the almighty stop watch. This may be the biggest creator of self doubt ever made. When a split pops up at the mile, people are often either happy or disappointed. They expect a certain time and if it isn’t displayed, those self doubts push forward that they are having a bad race.
How easy is it to forget that the stop watches don’t factor in the hill you just ran up or that it is 90 degrees outside with 80% humidity. No, the stopwatch just displays a cold hard time.
Mental toughness is not letting these factors spoil your overall race.
I will leave everyone with this parting thought.
When racing and conditions are not ideal, remember you are not alone. The cold, the wind, the rain, the heat, the humidity, everyone running in your race is enduring the same conditions. It is how you react to them that determines the outcome of your race.
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner