We get endorphins and a boost of self-confidence after any run we do (unless it was a REALLY miserable run) but nothing beats those workouts or races where we know that we truly pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones. The only problem is that we get tired and tell ourselves we want to quit so here are some ways to really push ourselves!
5 things I do when I want to go FASTER (especially when I am tired):
1. Pump my arms harder and faster. Now I am not saying to do this at mile 3 of a marathon because you would waste a lot of energy doing that but maybe try this towards the end of a race when you want to give a good kick or at a time when your legs are exhausted but you still want to go faster. This is something I had my Cross Country kids do all of the time and they couldn’t believe how well it worked. When I pump my arms faster and focus on my arms, my legs just naturally speed up too no matter how tired they are.
2. Remind myself that our minds give up way faster than our bodies. Mentally we quit long before our bodies will. It is built into us for survival so that we don’t ever reach the point that we actually run too fast or too far but that signal is sent to our brains WAY before we would ever need to worry about actually dying from running. Tell yourself it is just your brain and that your body has so much more to give.
3. Mini-goals. This is one of my favorites because when I break things up into small steps my main goal seems so much easier to accomplish. Tell yourself you will run faster until the next stoplight or for the next mile and then when you reach your mini-goal re-evaluate how you feel and slow down if you have to. Chances are when you get to that mini-goal you will realize you are one step closer to your big goal, you survived and that you CAN do it again.
4. This one has a bunch of little things all combined but it always helps me. Put on a FAST song (try to match your cadence to the beat of the song), repeat your favorite mantra (for me: pain is temporary, quitting is forever) and go on autopilot. For some people they have to stay focused if they want to keep a certain pace but at some points for me during a race it is better for me to zone out and just think of my mantra and keeping up with the song I am listening to and to forget times/splits etc.
5. Pick another racer in front of you, tie a rope around them and pull yourself up to them. Don’t actually use a rope but just do it in your mind. It is crazy how well this works for me. Mentally visualizing myself pulling along the rope to get closer and closer to that person ahead of me gets me there physically. Once you’ve passed them, do it again to someone new.
(He had no idea that I had tied a rope around him. ps we did not plan on matching our orange shoes and white socks, I have no idea who he is)
What do you do when you want to go faster when you are tired?
How often do you listen to music when you run?
-When I am running with friends I don’t listen to it but I ALWAYS do during races or hard workouts.
Do you ever do any visualizations when you run?
Have you ever worn compression sleeves or socks during a race?