Staying Mentally Tough

I want to love running again

Yesterday millions of Americans watched the unbelievable ending to the Super Bowl game. I was raised in Seattle and remain a die-hard Seahawks fan, making the outcome quite disappointing (if that’s not an understatement). This inspired me to think of the next blog post. How do you bounce back from a disappointment? When you are running and have a bad race (as we all have at one point or another), how do you turn around and do it again? I researched what mentally strong people do that keeps them successful and coming back for more even when dealt with failure.

If you have a bad run/race here are a few tips on how to become a person with mental toughness and bounce back:

1. Control what you can. I know I’m guilty of blaming bad weather, a challenging course, etc. But every race will have it’s own unique set of difficulties that I cannot control. All a runner can do is train to the best of your ability and arrive on race day as prepared as possible.

2. Accept responsibility. If you make a mistake, you go out too fast at the start, didn’t hydrate properly, etc., own it. Learn from it and don’t do it again.

3. Stop the insanity. You’ve probably heard the definition of insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? If you continue to have bad races, something is wrong. You need to reevaluate. Do you need to hire a coach? Do you need to change your nutrition plan? Do you need to run with a pacer so you stay consistent in your racing speed?

4. Never complain. This is one of the hardest to live by, but words are powerful. If you constantly whine about your circumstances, they will not get better. If you speak positively, you create an environment that opens the pathway to success. The same goes for the company you keep. If you surround yourself with negative influences, you will find it harder to dig your way out.

5. Harbor resentment. It’s easy for a losing team to get angry and think “woulda, coulda, shoulda,”, but the ones that shrug it off and move ahead will have a more successful game next time. You have to remove it from your mind. The best way to go about doing this is find a new race and immediately sign up. This puts you thinking forward.