The single most important piece of advice I’ve ever gotten on running came from my high school sports/fitness instructor. By running I don’t mean sprints, I’m referring to slightly longer distance runs – anything that takes you over half an hour. This is what he told me:
“Run the first part with your legs, the middle with your mind, and the final with your heart”.
So next time you go on a challenging run, split it into three parts. For the first part just use your legs, focus on the physical movement, the muscles, the blood flow, your feet hitting the floor. For the second part shift the hard work to the mind; affirmations, positive thoughts, visualizing the outcome, self talk. For the final part, run from the bottom of your heart. Pure, unadulterated passion and belief. Completely detaching yourself from the physical movement and complete ignorance of any pain or tiredness you may be feeling, with the awareness that the pain is only temporary and that there is not a force in the world that’s going to stand in your way of completing the run.
Before you know it you’ll be running distances you never thought you were ever capable of. The three part method. Works like a charm.