Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The mind game

It's been said that running is 20% physical and 90% mental. Lately I've been finding that to be true.

Working shifts makes biking to and from work harder than in previous years, so my cycling numbers are way down. But I'm getting out there for more runs then usual, so while my fitness isn't great, it's still good. The thing is, every time I go out for a long run I have to battle my mind to make it through.

Today was no exception. I did a 10 k, my goal was to do it nice and easy, keeping my heart rate low'ish' and just getting to the end of it. I did two 3 mile loops, picking up a bottle of Gatorade at the half way point, so physically I was fine. I've been building my distance again slowly, so I have no concerns there. But mentally it was a slugfest. I don't understand why I beat myself up so badly. "The next mile is with the wind, there'll be no breeze." "There's not enough shade." "Am I dehydrating?" "The bottle is getting heavy." "Don't drink too much." and my favorite "My feet are too hot."

I've run that distance countless times. I've run longer than 10 k many times and have even run twice that far. So why the mental weakness? WHY? Over the next 10 weeks or so I plan on increasing my long run by about 2 miles a week, so in 4 weeks a 6 mile run will seem like a day off. Why the battle?


glennlavender said...

Nick I am totally with you on this. I'm running a friggin 30 miler before my next marathon just to get my brain past the 26.2 limit I've somehow put on it. The crazy thing is that I know the last few miles of ANY run, be it 7 miles, 12 miles, 20 miles or more are ALWAYS the hardest. I need to somehow trick myself about the distance I plan on running. The mind is powerful man!!

Stef said...

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself - Desiderata, Max Ehrmann