Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do

If you know me personally, you know that I’m a big fan of lists (no, really – I freakin love them). And when you combine lists with running, I am allll over that.

So when this list of things the Hungry Runner Girl does to get through the toughest part of a run popped up in my FB feed today, it really struck a chord with me. There are some super helpful tips here! Many of these are tricks that I’ve used on myself before, like the “pick a spot and get there” trick, which I used to great effect in my last half marathon. I’ve also discovered that moving my arms faster actually does help me speed up, so I was happy to see that make an appearance here too!

But there were also a few tips that I never would have thought of in a million years! I love it when I stumble upon a helpful new running tip, don’t you? I was particularly excited by the idea of counting your steps: my major issue when I start to flag is that my mind gets sucked into a negative vortex and nothing short of an atom bomb will bust it out. But focusing on something as mundane as counting the number of steps I’m taking sounds like a fantastic way to break the negative cycle and focus on the literal “one foot in front of the other” motion!

I also enjoyed the idea of tying a rope around the person in front of me – usually I don’t like to concentrate on others in a race, but this seems like it’s more about the idea of visualization and distraction, which, much like lists, I am ALLLL over.

It got me thinking about some of my own Tough Times Tips:

1. Imagine how great it’ll feel to tell everyone about this after you’ve succeeded. Pride can be a hugely motivating thing. I personally have lost count of how many workouts I’ve pushed through, just to be able to say “Yeah, I lifted that much/ran that far/did that!” Vain? Maybe. Effective? 100%! Similarly:

2. Do it for the reward. Maybe you’ve promised yourself an awesome victory lap at the local diner after your race. Or perhaps you’ve got a massage on the schedule to relieve those sore muscles? Even if it’s just for the medal or for the personal satisfaction, keep your eye on the prize and you’ll be crossing that finish line in no time.

3. Go someplace else. This one is a little harder to do, and sometimes if you’ve been smushed up against The Wall for too long you may be better trying something else. But when I’m finding it hard to physically push when I’m at my limits, I just look up at the sky, pick a cloud, and imagine what that cloud has seen. Sometimes I’m able to picture some pretty awesome places – even if they’re 100% made up in my mind 😉

So what do you think? Do you have any other tips to add to this already awesome list? I’d love to hear them!

3 thoughts on “Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do

  1. Those are great! I tell myself ok, only going for 20 minutes… Then, once I get to 20, I say, I can do a little more. Then say, ok, a few more minutes… Then I just keep going and going. It tricks my brain out 🙂 I also know most of its mental. Focusing on my breath helps too!!

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  2. I’m really trying to work on the mental of my running. Because I’m real good at mind F*#king myself…sorry but so true that I couldn’t even a different choice for a word 🙂 I talk to myself and say I CAN DO this! heck I even pray to God and ask him to help me get through this run. And a running buddy can help you get over a hump.

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