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Running made easier by using your head

When we’re running by ourselves there is still a lot going on up in the old noodle. We are not just running with our legs and plainly moving forward and there are some great ways to utilise this and I will give you 3 tips on how to improve your running and how to run with your head.

A way to improve your running and to make sure your performance stays consistent throughout your run is to run with good form. You want to make sure you run up straight and are not hunched over. Now sometimes when you’ve been running for a while you don’t pay attention to this anymore and you start to hunch forward because you’re getting tired. Now there is a great way you can condition yourself to keep paying attention to this without really trying.

What you do is; think of something that you run into during your runs. Something specific, so not just trees or lamp posts, but rather certain signs, billboards or items you see frequently on your run, but not every 100 feet. You’ll understand why in a minute.

For example you pick a bus stop, you always pass a couple of those and there are not 20 of them in a row anywhere. Now imagine this busstop in your head and see yourself running with perfect form. Now on your run every time you see a bus stop you check your form.

- Are you running straight up?

- Are your arms not flailing?

- How is your foot placement?

- What is your breathing like?

Whatever you need reminding of link that to the bus stop and use that as a reminder to check how you’re doing. The first couple of times you’ll have to go out and be on the lookout for the bus stop or whatever item you picked, but after a couple of runs you will have conditioned your mind to think about your form whenever you run into a busstop. It will take a couple of runs, but once that link is made in your head you will have a great reminder that will effortlessly help you keep your form, your breathing or your pace in check, whatever you choose to link to it.

You want to run farther?

Fool your head into thinking it’s closer. Now what do I mean by that? Instead of thinking to yourself that you’re running a half marathon and that is the farthest distance you could imagine, it makes you tired just thinking about it.

Think about that you are running to that freeway sign or giant tree that you see up ahead. It’s not that far, you can see it and it’s getting closer. Now once you get there you run to the next sign or tree up ahead. This way you cut up that long distance in bite size pieces, you’re not focussed on how far away the end of your run is, cause you can see what you’re running towards and you’re almost there. The fact that you’re fooling yourself is not important, you’re setting small goals and it keeps you focused on the run without being discouraged by the distance.

The next tip is positive thinking.

It’s sometimes hard to go out running because we link all kinds of negative thoughts to the running. It makes you tired, it’s cold out, it’s hot out, you have other things to do, you will feel more like running tomorrow. These are all excuses that come from negative links in your head. You need to ignore these and create new positive links in your head. Link your happy thoughts to going out running, whenever you have a thought of what could be a reason not to go try and think of how this could spin to something positive.

When it’s cold think about how much easier it is to run than when it’s hot out.

When it’s hot out think of how nice it is to be running at night.

When you keep thinking of running in a positive way those links in your head will stick and it will become much easier and much more fun to go out running.

So keep these things in mind, if you don’t mind and make your running in to a more positive and easier task just by using your head.


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