Mental Strength and Running

I don’t remember where I heard about the book ‘Mind Gym‘ but it is a winner and a book that definitely helped me with my mental strength.  

 

PS it is really fun when your blow dryer breaks and you have to dry your hair under a hand dryer in the locker room.  I guess that is what you get when you buy the $7.99 blow dryer at Walmart and drop it at least 88 times.

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I really think that the runner’s high amazing feeling is more than just a bunch of endorphins streaming through your veins.  I think a large part of that incredible feeling has to do with overcoming our mental barriers.  We accomplish a run, race, challenge that we didn’t think we could do and that results in joy, confidence and a feeling of VICTORY.

Our minds hold us back so much.  I think that the greatest athletes out there don’t use the words I CAN’T (at least not very often). How many times have you had a run where you start thinking negatively and listened to those thoughts only to be disappointed at the end when you KNOW you could have given more.  One of my favorite feelings ever is when I know I gave it all that I had.

Our bodies are wired to have our minds give up before our bodies do.  It is made that way so that we don’t run so long and so fast that it does actually kills us, the mind sends us warning signs to slow down or stop LONG before our bodies come close to reaching fatigue.  (I know I am probably wrong with all of this but it is what I tell myself and it seems to work for me).  Basically, our bodies are so much stronger and can do so much more than our minds want us to.  So….that means we can train ourselves to tell our minds to be quiet for a little while and PUSH IT.  This is where the MIND GYM comes in and we work on our mental strength just as much as we work on our physical strength.

We are so much stronger than we think we are.

What we think will happen is more likely to happen.

It is up to you to make the decision whether or not you have a good race, you set that pr or place in your division, as long as you have put in the right amount of work and you are not injured/stopping for the potty every second, it is all up to your mind to get you to that finish line when YOU believe you can do that.

If you think poorly of your running abilities and of yourself you will never be able to outrun those things.  Change your view of yourself and how incredible of a runner you are and you will achieve more than you thought possible.

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Tips to help your mental game:

1.  Visualize….the night before a race picture yourself reaching your goals, feel it, believe it.

2.  Fake it to make it…..fake you mental strength until it becomes you!

3.  Focus on the TASK at hand when negative thoughts try to creep in.

4.  Progress not perfection, celebrate the little victories.  When you focus on being perfect you realize it is unattainable and then you give up.

5.  Come up with a power word to distract yourself.  Repeat it over and over again.

6.  Set dreams and goals.  If you don’t know where you wanna go, you will probably end up somewhere you don’t want to be.

7.  Rather than saying to yourself what you DON’T want to happen FOCUS on what you DO want to happen.  i.e. “I am worried I am going to slow down at mile 19”  “I am going to get to the water station at mile 20 in X:XX and keep my pace.”

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Remember…”If there is doubt in your mind…how can your muscles know what they are expected to do?” -Harvey Pennick

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If you haven’t already seen this yet, PLEASE check out the virtual run that SUAR is doing for Sherry Arnold on February 11th. Click HERE!!

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I have already typed more words than I ever have in my life so….tell me what you think about all of this mental stuff.  What was your favorite quote from the beginning…do you have one to add?  Do you have any examples or stories about times you were mentally TOUGH!  What are your tips to getting mentally tough!?!?!

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101 comments

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I needed to read this today. I am getting stressed/overwhelmed with work and school and the prospect of student teaching this spring. Definitely going to use those tips to get my running game (and myself!) back on track!

I don’t know where it’s from but one of my favorite quotes is “tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

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Meghan, that quote is AWESOME! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. WOW..you have a lot going on! You will love student teaching and you will do an incredible job!

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Wow, great post! Thanks for sharing! We ARE much much stronger than we “think” we are. I’m excited to check out that book. :)

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YES!! Let me know how you like it and have a great day Angie!

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LOVE this post and all the quotes. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to getting to be faster. I had it in my head I couldn’t go faster than 10 min miles for any distance but then I did…over and over. And I realized my BRAIN not my legs have been holding me back. I need to get this book. Thank you for this post!

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Isn’t it crazy how much we hold ourselves back! YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!! Way to improve your speed wahoo!

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LOVE this…it’s exactly what I’ve been thinking so much lately, and I’ve been saying to so many people that I truly believe we can do way more than our minds will ever let us!! That is DEFINITELY what got me my awesome race and PR in St. George…I wrote about it in my race recap on my blog, and I honestly think that only fellow runners will understand the true feelings I had from it. Most everyone else reads it and are just like…that’s cool, but I’m like – NO REALLY, you have no idea! I’ve totally overcame such mental barriers and am really improving and understanding way more about the mental part. OK, way to many words from me too…great post Janae!

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WOW!! Jessica, I am so happy for you! You ROCKED St. George and that pr was incredible…look at you breaking mental barriers, you are AMAZING!

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Great post friend! Yes, the mental part of the game is usually what gets us. Being strong mentally is as important if not more so than being strong physically. It’s when we find that balance that we are at our best!

((hugs)) to you. Hope you are having a great day! Come back to SoCal soooooon!

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I am going through withdrawals…remember we are going to that restaurant together…you better not forget! YES, it is the perfect balance=speediness. Have an amazing day Nicole! PS I was looking at your twitter picture today and holy cow…you have the strongest most toned legs!

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Yes we are! Panera! Woohooo!

P/S You are too kind!!

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I love, love, love this. I’ve never been a “great” runner, and always figured I could be in shape without ever even doing it. But to challenge myself, I signed up for a “short” five miler in March and while I know I can do it, it’s my mental barrier that haunts me the most. Thanks for putting it all into words!

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YOU CAN DO IT YOU CAN DO IT!! Molly, make sure you start visualizing yourself as a GREAT runner and succeeding in your five miler and you WILL!! Train your brain along with training your running:)

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Definitely will check that book out!

I wrote a blog post on this not long ago. I think it is so key to keep your mental game strong especially when it comes to running. You can go long after you think you can! Having a strong mental state and avoiding doubt and fear has helped me a great deal with so many races and I think you have to work on it every day.

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Chels, I can’t wait to read your post and yes…this is totally a DIALY battle and when we get better at it we can go longer and faster, it is incredible. Hope you are having an amazing day!

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I love the mental side of athletics and sport psychology. I’m hoping to one day combine sport psych with my PT practice! The mental aspect of training and racing is sometimes more difficult than the physical aspect if we have put in the proper amount of work. I have a lot of favorite quotes but one that I have been using recently for myself is “when all the weak is gone, all that’s left is strong”.

Do you think it’s acceptable to count my mental training hours as training hours for my Ironman? I mean, it should be right?

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Totally counts!! Your are my hero. UM YES..that is such a great idea to combine the two..I will come to you! AMAZING quote..I just wrote it down, thanks!

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I LOVE this post! With running in particular, I love the idea of listening to your body and bucking the running “rules…” Yes, they are there for a reason, but at the same time, we ARE capable of so much MORE like you said, and most of that starts in our minds. Love this thought and am just on board with everything you posted. …going to go read this post again. ;) Thanks, Janae!

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I agree. I am not built to be a runner – trust me, you don’t even want to see my crazy stride and weird feet – but I am really good at mental toughness. That’s helped me improve so much!

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I love the one about attitude. I think that is so incredibly true. A bad attitude will ruin anything. You have to learn to always focus on the positive and be thankful instead of looking at what you don’t have. You will never get anywhere that way. Thanks for posting!!

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Ahhh LOVE This post because this is basically what I do with my athletes and learn in class! I love Mind Gym!

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Love this post. I think it’s so true. When I was plYing soccer in college we did a lot of mental work. I totally agree tht the mental battle is more important that the physical. I really had ton come to terms with the fact that it’s ok to hurt and be uncomfortable. It won’t last forever you just have to get to the other side of the pain.

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Pretty much just started crying. I’ve struggled with running because of every excuse in the book. I’m too busy, too tired, too out of shape, too slow… and best of all: mom guilt gets to me way too easily. I signed up for a marathon. I decided I was finally going to do it. I have a few half marathons under my belt, with nowhere near impressive times. I have been training, but nowhere near where I need to be. The race is in a few months, and I had decided earlier today…seriously just this morning… I was just going to bow out. I was just going to not mention it again. And, I think this post is so true: I bet my body could get to the point it can run 26.2 miles… but my mind… kept saying no way.
I’m undeciding the decision I made today to not run it. And, I think I’ll go buy that book after work.

My favorite quote up there: “You can’t outperform your self-image.” -Dennis Connor.

Thank you.

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Jen, thank you so much for your sweet comment. I am so sorry that you have been struggling with running! I can’t imagine trying to be a mom and running so much but you CAN DO IT!! I am so so happy that you are GOING TO RUN IT!!! Yes, get the book. Will you email me and keep me updated with how your training is going!

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Love this all around! My PT told me this week that I need to start setting goals for recovery because as athletes we always look for the accomplishments at the end of all our hard work.

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One of the greatest things I was told was that your body is going to fight you initially, but after those first 10-15 minutes it’s all gravy (ok the person said it more eloquently than this, but still!). And I can’t tell you how many times this has gotten me through bouts of soreness or just after a stressful day when I may not be totally into it. And it’s so true! After those first 10 minutes, I feel like I could do another 3 hours of whatever I’m doing.

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I struggle with these things because in most cases these books and stories tell you what to do, but not how. If you struggle with the mental aspects then a roadmap for how to build that strength in necessary, and not just platitudes.

But you are right about celebrating the small victories and small steps. My first small step in training was running every step of my long run. It wasn’t fast, but clearing that mental hurdle of “needing” to walk was HUGE. Sometimes setting smaller goals along the way helps to build the confidence that you need to do the bigger things.

The Kidless Kronicles

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Love this post, it is so true. I had one of those mental days today. I love all of the quotes.
“You have to learn to get comfortable with Being uncomfortable.” -Lou Piniella
Is probably what I need to work on the most. I was running up a hill today and when my breathing became uncomfortable I was ready to walk. Luckily I didn’t but was thinking something along the same lines to myself. I blogged kind of around the same lines today and wrote/reminded myself-
If following your dreams were easy, would they still be worth it?
Every time I struggle with running, I think about how amazing it is because it isn’t easy.

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I totally agree! And I think it’s timely (for me) that you posted this today. I had an amazing 14 miler today…what I like to call one of my “once in a blue moon” runs where everything aligns. Much of it is mental :-)

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I had the most awesome 2nd grade teacher and she did this thing that has stuck with me for over 20 years and I think played a huge part in my development of a chronically positive attitude. She had an “I Can’t” envelope taped to the blackboard and if she ever caught us saying those words, our name went into the envelope. The goal was to go the whole year without ever saying “I Can’t” and so all of us tiny 8 year olds focused so hard on believing that we could do anything and refusing to say those words. That philosophy became ingrained in me and I truly believe in the power of positive (and negative) self-talk.
I loved this post because I think its something that is rarely talked about, in terms of applying it to physical fitness. And I think that people who are mentally strong and positive attract good things and good people into their lives. You have been such a positive and supportive force in my life, Janae. Thanks for your fierceness, energy, and mental strength!!

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WOW!! That is incredible that your teacher in 2nd grade left such a huge impression on you and taught you such an incredible lesson that you have been able to use ever since then. SO GREAT!! I might have to do this with my high school kids. Thank you for your sweet words and please keep in touch with how you are doing!

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Sounds like a great read!! Thanks for the post, we all need to remember this when the going gets tough!

My favorites: “You can’t out perform your self-image.” (wow, that one hit home hard.) “You have to learn to get comfortable with Being uncomfortable.” (definitely made major improvements there, love getting sweaty!)

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Great post! Mental toughness is my major challenge (as I’m sure it is for everyone). There are times when my mind is telling me to slow down or walk and I really assess if I am tired or if I could make it another XX miles (or feet in some cases) and reassess.

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I’m a beginner “runner” and just found your blog, love it!

This year I’ve decided to do the things that I always told myself “I can’t” and running is top on that list. I’ve never been a runner but I knew it was all my mind holding me back. So I’ve signed up for a 1/2 marathon in Sept. I’ve never ran more than 3 miles in my life.

I keep a note on my treadmill that has the word ‘can’t’ with a big red X through it & it’s been a great reminder. Just yesterday I ran 7 miles without stopping and totally cried out of surprise when I was done. Ordering Mind Gym tonight, thank you for this post!

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A little self-conscious commenting since there doesn’t seem to be a lot of males commenting. But I couldn’t resist the John Wooden quote. He was an amazing man. I’ve got a long quote from him about character vs. reputation tacked on my wall at work. I definitely need to work on my mental toughness & will have to seek out that book. I’m on the comeback trail from surgery & just beginning to race again.

Thanks for the inspiration!

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HEY DAVID…thanks so much for commenting, it made my day! You are going to have to send me that quote about character vs. reputation, I would love to read it. WAHOO on making a comeback from SURGERY…you are incredible!

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I don’t really have anything to add to what you already said. But I totally agree with you!

I definitely think the mental part of running a marathon is much tougher than the physical part. And this mental toughness is true for everything in our lives – not just athletic abilities. Our biggest test in life is overcoming our natural tendencies and improving our willpower and strength of mind.

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Love this post!

I always focus on making training/racing a ‘game’ – if I can laugh at it and at myself, then it’s no longer scary. I just keep reminding myself that I’m just playing a game of wits with myself… it’s no biggie. I giggle at the ridiculousness of it all, and then I forget about how badly I want to amputate my legs haha :D

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love this post. i think the treadmill really helps with mental toughness. if i am able to run a half on a treadmill, i should be able to run a marathon outside! !

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I think that the mental battle is the hardest…whether it’s while you’re running, or trying to convince yourself to go for that run. The majority of my issues training spring from excuses. If I even feel the slightest bit “off”…I’ll talk myself out of running. I’m working on improving my mental game…big time and before my next half marathon in March.

Step #1 Today I went for my run expecting to go for 5 miles…but I just kept running and did 7.
I will go right ahead and put that in the “mental win” column.
(also a win: stealing starbursts from a colleague today to prep for my run)

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Love it, all so true. I am having the hardest time with the mental part right now. Talk myself out of every workout I think about. It sucks.

I noticed just how much of it is mental when I was pregnant. I would go out of a trail run in the beginning and tell myself to really listen to my body and only do what feels ok. You know what? I was walking/hiking – my body did NOT want to do it. Made me realize how much I really push myself past my comfort zone when it was just my body and I didn’t have to listen, when it would complain and I could tell it to shut up.

I so want to get back to that place. Getting sick of being the lazy girl.

Thanks for this post.

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what helps me before a big race is saying the quote “pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity” i am really hard on myself and often am really nervous before a big race, but rather than thinking “i can’t do it,” i recognize the reason that i’m nervous is because the race is an opportunity for me to achieve something great, and that it is something i truly care about

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I don’t have any amazing quotes or experiences, but I do know a bad attitude can ruin a run/race/day/life! Attitude is everything. Sometimes when I have a hard run, I make myself smile as I run (lame-o, but whatev) and I think things in my head, like “I love this,” (even when I don’t) or “I feel amazing” (even when I don’t—-although injury is different that’s when you need to stop). Sometimes I think about people who wish they could be running, but aren’t because they are injured or don’t dare to try and that keeps me going too, just knowing how lucky/proud I am to be out there trying at all.

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I SO needed this today! I was only scheduled to run 4 miles today but I stopped at 2.75. I was feeling blah and just couldn’t keep going. Well, I guess it wasn’t “couldn’t.” It was more “didn’t want to.” I wish I had read this before my run!

For motivation, I try to repeat to myself my two favorite mind-over-matter phrases: “Excuses are for losers” and “Soldier On.” I’m running my first half next month, and I’m thinking of writing these in sharpie on my arms!

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What an excellent idea! I am running my first half in April and might just have to break out a sharpie!!

Best of luck! You’ll be great!

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This post came at just the right time! You’re so dang stinkin’ awesome! I quit more often over the mental blocks that I put up for myself. I truly do wonder what I would be able to accomplish if my mental toughness was pumped up.

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Great quotes, great tips, great post!

Overcoming the mental barriers we create is definitely the most difficult part of pushing yourself, not only in athletics, but in life in general! The best moments happen when you can finally get to the other side of those barriers!

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THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting this. I had a 7 miler today that was mentally exhausting and this was a major pick-me-up and a reminder that my mind can do anything my body can do! Just as George Patton says…

“Now if you are going to win any battle you are going to have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired…you’ve got to make the mind take over and keep going.”

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Love that quote!

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I’m all about visualization! Whenever I’m on a tough or long run, I imagine myself running the Chicago Marathon and kicking butt!

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I loved this! I’ve just started running and really needed to read this so I could get my mind in the right place! This will really help me when I have that “I can’t go on anymore” feeling, and I’ll be able to push it aside and know that actually, I CAN go on. Thanks so much for this post! :)

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Thank you for this post. i don’t know if I can pick just one favorite.

My mantra I use in times of stress, anxiety, heart beating out of the chest speed work is “CHOOSE to not react”

My favorite quote for the week, and I think applicable here is “What is holding you back is the thought that something is holding you back.”

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I am working on mental toughness. It was one thing I was lacking at my full in November and it really showed up when I faced less than ideal conditions.
This time around I finish all of my training runs and I try to finish strong. Whenever I feel like stopping short, I remind myself to push through.
Thanks for the motivation!

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I needed to read all those mentality quotes today. Just signed up for an ultra relay and I’ve been really doubting my ability to do it. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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hi Janae,
I just wanted to share a new spin song with you (and it’s also a decent motivational quote!). It’s called T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever) by Will.i.am, ft. J Lo. The motivational part is the chorus, “you can go hard or you can go home.” My spin instructor played it last week. Hope you like it!

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Lol! One of my running buddies has been singing that all week!!! She wants to put it on a shirt!!!!

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AHHH Thank you so much for the song recommendation! I am going to download it right this second. Thank you so much Sarah and have a great night!

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LOVE it!! I love mental toughness :)

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I have horrible mental issues.

BTW..the dryer broke because you melted a bag on it ;)

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bahahaha i totally forgot about that, you are SO right!

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LOVED this post. About contributing quotes? You shouldn’t have asked…I keep a journal that is full of only quotes. Here are a few:

“Your biggest challenge isn’t someone else. It’s the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells ‘can’t’, but you don’t listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper ‘can’. And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.”

“Ability is what you are capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.”
–Lou Holtz

All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do. ~Author Unknown

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. ~Thomas Jefferson

The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle. ~Author Unknown

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JULIA….thank you so much for these quotes…they are absolutely amazing and I am about to write them all done. AMAZING! Hope you are having a great night gorgeous girl!

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Need to work on my mental edge! My husband is a great motivator and always challenges me because he knows i am way faster and stronger than I think I am! He often paces me in races. The biggest mental hurdle I’ve ever overcome is 24+ hours of labor without drugs!!!

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Great post, we train so much but at the end of the day mentally training is just as important – especially in long races! I really think mantras and power words are really helpful in races and training runs as well.

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Thanks for this post, Janae! Mental toughness is one of my biggest struggles, so I loved all of this. And needed all of this.

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This is all so helpful to me. My mental game always seems to fade around miles 21-22. I want to print off your post and hang it on my wall next to my 2012 goals and inspiration chart! I am so happy to have read this! Your blog is very inspirational and uplifting!

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Great post! The mental training is JUST as important as the physical training.

A couple of my favorites:
*I can do hard things!
*I am stronger than this moment.
*Did you show up to run or show up to quit? Sacrifice or Regret. Decide.

*Finally, for a little humor: overheard at a 1500M race, a mother yells to her son on the second lap of his race: “Ain’t nobody here feel sorry for you”

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Great post!! But I guess I worry that if I push myself, I’ll end up injured …. and then I won’t be able to run the race I signed up for, and it will be a waste of money, and blah blah blah. Probably all excuses to keep things “easy!” ;)

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Normally I skim through your blogs (love the photos and recaps), but this blog post was AWESOME, Janae! I had to comment!! I loved the quotes and the focus on mental toughness! I’m looking forward to developing my mental strength as a runner to be able to run faster, further, longer!!! You are THE BEST!!! :)

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I LOVED this post!! Thanks for the great motivation!!!!!

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Wow! This is the best thing I’ve read all day!
I just got so inspired! My boyfriend has Mind Gym and now I think I’ll have to borrow it from him.

I’m currently unable to run b/c of a hip injury but reading this post made me SO excited to be able to run again and to push my limits! It really is true that your mind gets tired first so you have to just learn to listen to your body instead!

I loved “Progress not perfection, celebrate the little victories. When you focus on being perfect you realize it is unattainable and then you give up.”
That’s something I’m really working on — Not focusing on how perfect you want to be but focusing on the IMPROVEMENTS you’re making :)

Yay for running!!

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Thank you so much for your sweet comment. YES, borrow the book from him. I am so sorry about your hip injury…no fun! This is a great time to work on your mental strength though! YES, it is all about improvements!! keep me updated with how you are doing!

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Your blog is amazing, I LOVE this post. I really needed to read every word of it.. And I’m bookmarking it so I can read it again later, when I forget some of these important things. I am bad for letting the negative voice tell myself I can’t reach my goals, or that I should just set them lower because I’ll never reach the ones I really dream of reaching.

I have my second half marathon coming up in just over 2 weeks and a big goal that I’m not too far off reaching. I’m going to use every one of these tips to help me reach it! I promise if I do, I will let you know and I will owe you a big thanks for all the information on one area of training I completely neglected, but definitely needed help in – the mental side of it. Did I mention I LOVE your blog??

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I absolutely love this post! I agree with you 100% about mental fatigue. I find it helps to focus on 1 minute at a time when I get discouraged. Usually I’m not all that tired, my brain just gets bored and wants to do something different.. so if you give yourself something to concentrate on, it helps :)

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I am the worst when it comes to mentally overcoming my workouts. So often, I tell myself I should quit long before my training plan tells me too. And I usually do. Until today, when I actually willed myself into finishing my 11 miles. I wanted to quit at 9, at 10, even at 10.5, but then I told myself “you have half a mile left? You got this!” And I did. :-)

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Great post again! I love this pic I saw on Pinterest which says: You can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe off your sweat and carry on! Especially with running, I think it comes down more to mental strength as opposed to physical!

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As a quote junkie I have two quotes I like about mental strength:

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. – Henry Ford

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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u were spot on with all of that!! great post! :)

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Nice post! It is true that our mind needs more training than our actual physical body for sports. When my mind starts telling me I can’t go anymore, I break it down into segments like, “You can do anything for 1 minute. Keep going one more minute!” 9 times out of 10 I’ll make it.

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I definitely agree that your mind can derail your chance of success. The first time I attempted to ski a double diamond I was so worried about what would happen if I got stuck halfway down that I got distracted and crashed. Not only had my fears that I wasn’t good enough been confirmed but I was embarrassed and ended up with a severely sprained knee that took me out for the rest of the trip and weeks after it. The next year I went back, clenched my teeth, and told myself repeatedly “I can do this”. I nailed that sucker.

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I love this post! Thank you for the morning motivation!

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I looked to see if Mind Gym was available in the Chicago library system. It’s not. The reviews on Amazon are pretty luke warm, but I figured I’d check the library anyway.

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Training for ultra marathons are all about mental toughness. I always say its 40% physical and 60% mental. When you’re out there running for 10+ hours on the trails it’s guaranteed you’ll feel bad at some point. Sometimes I don’t get out of it for hours, but it helps to know that I will eventually feel better if I just keep moving. The end goal of finishing a 50 mile, 100 mile race is so worth the pain I go through to get there. I think about all the training I’ve done and how far I’ve come to give it all up. Running is a total mental sport, you have to be comfortable with pushing your limits and redefining what they are in order to get better.

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THANK YOU For this book idea. I coach a girls HS Ice Hockey team, and I am desperate to find any sort of motivational ideas. I am running out to get this book…(maybe it will help my personal life/goals as well!!!)

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I completely agree with you! I used to play tennis in high school and tennis is such a mental game. There’s no coaching aloud during the match so it’s all you inside you head. It really used to get to me sometimes so my dad got me a book about mental toughness in tennis and it really helped me. I can see how it would apply to running.

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I think running as well as any endurance activity is at least 60% mental- probably more. That’s why I love it so much. It has taught me I CAN do anything even when that little voice inside my head says I can’t! This applies to all of life- not just running and fitness! Awesome Post!

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I’m retraining my brain in multiple ways, not only in running. In communications I’m being careful to avoid words like “maybe”; change that to “I will!”.

In running I’m training myself not to be restrictive when telling myself what I can do. Right now my best 5K was at a 9:15 average. It’s very hard mentally to believe that I can get below a nine minute mile. It’s doubly hard when I get self-deprecating and/or call myself a turtle. NO! I am new to running (never ran as a kid) and I have room to grow and exceed. I can do more than I believe I can!

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LOVED loved this post, Janae!! Everything you said is soo true. I think running is 90% mental. The mind can do some powerful and crazy things and it’s so important to learn how to overcome those negative thoughts, fight back and give it all we’ve got. I’m really focusing on mental strength during my training this year and this post was a great reminder of just how important it is. I love those quotes and will try to remember them when I’m pumping up those hills 26km into my race. Thank you!

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I’m obsessed with this post! Thank you for writing it. So inspiring!

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I love this! I realize I’ve been mentally holding myself back in a lot of my running. I would look at the treadmill pace and calculate how fast I should be going for XX time training. My boyfriend convinced me to do more outside running though and when I get back, I upload my Nike+ band and find that I’m actually running faster than on the treadmill and it feels easier outside. What a difference it makes when you don’t let your mind control your body!

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I absolutely believe that mental strength is just as important (if not more) than physical strength. If a person trains perfectly for a race but they stand at the starting line telling themselves they can’t do it, they can’t. I used to be that person. Now I use positive self-talk and it’s helped tremendously.

P.S. Loved that there’s a Bruce Jenner quote in there. :)

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Love this post, Janae! Mental strength is what has helped me through this marathon training—Im loving it but some days I just don’t wanna. I’ll remember this when I dont!

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This was so helpful to me that I can hardly describe it! How fast did you read the book?

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Obviously late to the game on this post, but you don’t post 15 times a day like I need you to…so I started reading older entries. Anyway, my favorite quote above is from you, actually: We are so much stronger than we think we are.

If I weren’t supposed to be working, I’d post it as my FB status. But, then my boss would see :-) I’ll try to remember to do it later.

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