Mind tricks that help you beat running exhaustion

Out of the top 100 fastest marathon times ever achieved in the world, 59 of them are from Kenya, 31 from Ethiopia. Anyone want to guess why that is?

Nope not altitude, genetics and or the fact they have to run everywhere. Psychological studies show that it is because they BELIEVE they are good runners!

Too often I hear from people that they believe they are not designed to be a runner. However, every human body was born to run and run for an extended period of time. But sometimes it is hard – it can be hard to get started and hard to keep going, but if we can become more mindful when we run like the marathon monks of Japan, it can become a whole lot easier.

Here are some tips to bear in mind if you’re heading to Sydney this weekend for the Blackmores Running Festival, or gearing up for a running event wherever in the world you happen to be…

  1. Just breathe

running tips, mind tips for runnersYour breathing is one of the most important components of both meditating and running. If you are able to establish a rhythmical slow pattern of breathing you can offset stress and increase your movement efficiency. To breathe effectively really focus on your exhalation and it should feel like it is coming from your stomach not your throat. We often use ‘breathe’ as a cue for our clients while performing an exercise as this helps to increase focus and performance.

2. Be body aware

During most runs, the first 10 minutes always seem the hardest part. By focusing on how your body feels and your technique, your run will become less painful and more efficient. You want to feel light and bouncy on your feet not feel or sound like an elephant stomping down the street. You should also feel like a piece of string is attached to the top of your head pulling you to the sky so your body feels lengthened. We often ask clients how a certain exercise feels or where they feel the exercise working, in order to establish a better brain/body connection.

3. Use a mantra

Running can be tough but having a key phrase or mantra can help you overcome just about any obstacle. Using a positive cue can often be enough to give you the strength to continue and try a little harder. Even mantra’s like ‘look up’ can help you become more aware and grateful of your surroundings. One of my clients uses the mantra ‘light weight’ which he says to himself before lifting a heavy weight.

Image credit: iStock
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Greg has made it his fight to bring professionalism back to exercise. With a university degree in Human Movement and working with elite level athletes, Greg’s knowledge and experience is leading the way. Greg is the founder of Better Being, Australia’s only team of university qualified personal trainers delivering health solutions that suit your busy corporate life. Today, Greg continues to support the health and wellbeing of corporate executives and celebrities. He also educates trainers and regularly contributes to national publications and TV shows including Men’s Health, Sky Business and The Morning Show. Greg was awarded the 2011 Australian Exercise Professional of the Year finalist and is a proud ambassador for lululemon athletica. He has also established a charity, Active Kids, which aims to overcome childhood obesity and physical inactivity in Australia. Greg’s passion is to create ways to inspire, educate and motivate people to build a happy and healthy life.