Saturday, July 15, 2023

Tips and Tricks to Keep you Running

Tips and Tricks to Keep Running

Have you ever felt like you needed to stop during a run but you didn't want to. You really wanted to push yourself, but your brain and your body were at odds? Here are some simple tricks you can use that should help. 

Visual Anchors

I'm not sure that "visual anchor" is the best term to use, but it works for me. I don't think of an anchor as a weight that keeps a boat in place. I think of it as a hypnosis-type anchor. A strong connection or feeling associated with a desired state or outcome. what does that mean in practice? 

When running, if you feel like you want to stop, pick a spot off in the distance. A telephone pole, a parked car. A building, tree, streetlight...doesn't matter. Just pick a point and tell yourself that you will get to that point before you can walk. Now - here's the second part of the trick - as you get close, pick a point just a little farther and tell yourself that's the new point. Continue to do this. More often than not, you'll find yourself forgetting you wanted to stop and you can stop using the visual anchors.

Counting Steps

This may sound weird, but taking your mind off running and thinking of something else is another form of hypnosis I use when running. Let's say you're running and you want to stop. No problem, tell yourself you can stop after 100 steps with the right leg. Now you just start counting every time your right leg touches the ground. Almost always, this distraction will get you back into the zone and you'll continue running. 

Change your pace

Sometimes, changing your pace can be just enough to keep you going. Of course, you have two options: Speed up or slow down. 

Slowing down works well if you're running a faster pace than your easy runs. It can easily extend how far you run by adjusting your pace. 

Speeding up, believe it or not, can help you run farther too. For just a block, a minute or to some random point you pick out off in the distance, pick up your pace. You'll find that you are recruiting different muscles or the same muscles in a different way. Often this can be just enough of a change so that when you settle back to your prior pace, you can keep going. 

I hope these help. What strategies do you use to keep going when the going gets tough?

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