Today’s Run Was a Mental Challenge

Today’s run for me was one of those runs where you just want it to end. Now.

Half a mile in all I could think is “I really don’t want to be doing this. I just want to get back into bed.” That’s never a good thought when you’ve only been running for a few minutes and your goal is four miles. Ugh.

The good news is I decided that the run would be a good mental toughness challenge. There’s no guarantee that I’ll feel mentally strong on the day of my 10-miler this October or the Princess Half next year and I have to be prepared for that.

Train your mind for running

So this morning I kept moving when I didn’t want to.

I set mini-goals for myself to stay motivated (just get to the next half mile, just get to that tree down there…) and eventually I made it through all four miles.

I admit that I included more walk breaks than I would have liked, but in the end I actually ended up completing the four miles one whole minute faster than last week. This is sort of a miracle since last week I was feeling really great.

Every mile earned not given

On an even more odd note I actually finished the last mile faster than miles 2 or 3 which I wasn’t expecting at all. I guess once my body knew we were almost home it was like, “let’s go!”

When I got home I immediately showered and got back into bed to sleep for a couple more hours.

All I can say is I will gladly take a physically exhausting day over a mentally challenging day any time. Today’s run just wasn’t fun at all.

After I woke up I had a light lunch and headed out to meet with my run coach to go over June’s progress and my goals for the 10-miler.

I know the 10-miler is still months away (end of October) but I’m getting really pumped for it. I’ll need all the time I have between now and then to get ready, but when the day comes I’m going to do what needs to be done!

I’m also really excited for next week. Not only is it a 3-day work week for me, but I have a fourth of July 5K to look forward to and my mom is going to be in town for a few days!

How do you get through mentally tough runs? Do you use mantras or visualizations? Do you set mini-goals for yourself?


  1. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running
    June 30, 2013 / 10:13 pm

    I had the same experience a couple days ago. 1 mile into my 4 miler, I just felt so bored and like the run was so tedious! I was really proud that I forced myself to the end of it. Good work on beating your pace from last week!

  2. Jennifer,
    July 1, 2013 / 7:44 pm

    GOOD FOR YOU for getting it done! Not every run is going to be easy, or even enjoyable. It’s just not. And all we can do is grit our teeth and get the miles in anyway. I do the same thing you do — when you mentally start breaking up the miles into small segments or visual landmarks, it really can make it seem a lot less overwhelming on days when you’re just not “feeling” it!