Reader Inquiry: How Do I Start Running Part 2

May 14, 2009


You’ve bought your running gear, mapped out your fitness plan and now you are physically ready to conquer the trail. But sometimes that little voice in the back of your head is keeping you away from your workout or stifling it. Mental preparedness is the next step towards achieving your running goals. Here are some tips to mentally prepare for a run.

1. Keep a Journal
I think it is important to write down your goals and keep them in a place where you can see them daily. Also, keep a training log of your progress towards meeting those goals. This was especially helpful for me when I first started trying to lose weight and get fit. Weekly, I would write down my weight loss goal as well as my workout plan. Whenever I got the urge to miss a run, slack off or eat an entire box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, I would look back through my journal. Being able to see how much work I put in to burn those 1-2 pounds a week kept me motivated.

2. Win the battle of the mind
You’ve had a long day at work, you’re tired and you’re hungry. The last thing you want to do is lace up the Nikes and run. Whatever the circumstances, I know we can all relate to dreading a workout, especially in the beginning stages of a weight loss or fitness plan. I learned the best way to defeat the negative thoughts was to pump myself up throughout the day. Before I hit the trails, I remind myself of how many calories I’m going to burn and how good I will feel afterwards. I have a facebook friend who updates her status with positive affirmations throughout the day about her upcoming workout. Little does she know she’s not only motivating herself, but other facebook stalkers members as well.

3. Find a Mantra
“Ashley, your butt is going to look so good in those jeans!” OK, that was a little conceited, but I often recite egotistical vain positive mantras throughout my run to keep me motivated. Let’s face it, when you get to the end of your run and your body is screaming “no more,” you have to be your own cheerleader. So pick a positive phrase to recite to help you stay focused and motivated.

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