058: How to Build Mental Toughness

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For a runner, mental toughness relates to overcoming the pain and discomfort that comes from pushing our minds and bodies to the limit. This comes with running at a fast pace, traversing a difficult course or embracing tough environmental conditions. Mental toughness is the capstone of an overall comprehensive training program that includes a combination of endurance, strength and flexibility.

Mastery of our mind precedes the movement of our bodies. Click To Tweet Embrace the Elements
The weather changes nearly every day and can even change mid-run without notice. Don’t let cold weather, rain, snow, wind or any other variable hold you back from your workouts. What happens if you skip the bad weather days in training and then it’s cold, windy or raining on race day? You can build the mental toughness while testing your gear when you embrace the elements in training.

Perform the Tough Workouts
We each have those workouts that just scare us a little bit. Oftentimes, these workouts highlight a weakness. For example, some people find those longer tempo runs as just downright miserable. While others have trouble getting focused for speed work or interval workouts. And then we have a tendency to adjust the workout or simply skip the workout entirely. Go to the tough places in training. Run the tough hilly trails. Don’t skip the speed workouts, tempo runs and those key long runs. Bottom line, however, is that these tough workouts build mental toughness.

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Every Day is a New Opportunity
The last step for building mental toughness through training is knowing that every day is a new opportunity. Frank Shorter, an American former long-distance runner who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics and the silver medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics, said, “You have to forget the last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.” Sometimes the toughest step is the first one. You can’t have your mind in yesterday and expect to move forward. This approach to training builds the long-lasting mental toughness that sets you up for a lifetime of running enjoyment and success.

When you win in your mind, you experience the Freedom to Run! Click To Tweet

Conclusion
The only limits on your life are the limits you have in your mind. Mental toughness is the capstone of an overall comprehensive training program that includes a balance of endurance, strength and flexibility. Mental toughness is the final piece to the puzzle after nutrition. Mastery of our mind precedes the movement of our bodies. When you win in your mind, you experience the Freedom to Run!

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SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

  • How to build mental toughness
  • What is mental toughness
  • Mental strength and running
  • Workouts to improve mental strength
The only limits on your life are the limits you have in your mind. Click To Tweet

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