Train Your Brain For Running Success | Tips to Perform Higher

distance running tipsHow do you train your brain?

This is one area we do not talk about enough as runners.

This is such an important area of training and sad that it is so overlooked.

How many hours of your life have you put into training your body, the physical aspect of your preparation.

I think we all would be astounded to know the answer to that but I am sure it is a very high number, much more time spent training physically then mentally for sure.

We know how to training physically but to train your brain takes a different type of preparation that physical training simply can’t assist us with.

I first heard about a product called Brain Bullet while I was deployed to Afghanistan.

It is a piece of software you can download onto your computer or laptop that flashes statements that you can create onto the screen.

Train Mentally

The conscious mind barely has enough time to register it. You see it for a split second but the subconscious mind sees it clearly and your brain cells are activated by it.

I knew about subconscious training through my teenage years when I was competing in the martial arts.

The martial artist that trained me spoke about Chi, or as they called it, the ‘life force’ or energy within the body.

I was again introduced to mental imagery when I was competing at Malone University.

Coach Hazen would have us lie in a room after our workouts and visualize ourselves perfuming great at the NAIA National Track and Field and Cross Country National championships.

We pictured ourselves running strong, relaxed, in control and we did this several times during the week. He also has do it on our own time.

It was part of our routine.

Invest In A RunDreamAchieve Training Plan Today

how to train for a marathonThe Train Your Brain Philosophy

The great Billy Mills said it best,

The subconscious mind, cannot tell the difference, between reality or imagination. 

With man this is impossible, not with God, all things are possible with God – Mark 10.27.

Train Your Brain As Elite Athletes Do

Elite athletes use mental imagery as parts of their routine. 

We know how to train physically. It is what we have been brought up thinking. You go out, put in the workouts and mileage and hope that what you do will create a result.

Your hard work will be rewarded but have we lost touch on the mental side of the house?

How often do we spend training our brain as we train our bodies?

I didn’t know how important mental training was when I was in high school. How much time did I spend visualizing? I wish I knew about this earlier in my career.

Physical training is only part of the equation to running better times.

Have you ever watched videos of the Shaolin Monks or master level martial artists?

They have trained their minds to make their bodies impenetrable to sharp objects.

The Power of Mental Training

You program that in and it is simple to set up.

Of course, I feel strongly about mental training because it has been so influential in my life.

Remember, I was once a  2.43.36 marathoner and dropped to 2.19.35.

My thoughts were constantly on breaking 2.22.00. I spent a great deal of my time rehearsing mentally what I wanted to achieve.

The key to having a good attitude is the willingness to change. We are either the masters or the victims of our attitudes. It is a matter of personal choice. Who we are today is the result of choices we made yesterday. Tomorrow we will become what we choose today. To change means to choose to change. – Dr. John C. Maxwell

It was not a shock when I broke 2.20.00. 

Closing Thoughts

It has to start in the mind before it is ever created in the physical world. Your goal may not be to hit an Olympic Trials standard time. It could be to run 20 miles a week consecutively.

Lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks or run a 20.00 5K time. You have to start thinking about it, visualizing what you want, on top of your physical training.

Bridget Reardon, in The Impact of Mental Preparation on Athletic Performance, displays my closing thoughts perfectly,

Coaches are not teaching or training their athletes to be mentally prepared for the stresses and anxieties that impact motivational level and overall performance. Too often, coaches fail to recognize that it is more important to focus on the psychological/mental aspect of the game, especially since physical abilities remain relatively stable and psychological factors are more likely to account for fluctuations in performance.

Start training your brain today for positives and don’t let past performances stop you from future success.

Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new videos each week to help runners such as yourself get to the next level. There are also running courses and monthly, online coaching available here at rundreamachieve. You can view these options by looking at the navigation menu at the top of this website. I hope this post on how to train your brain has been helpful to you.

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