Mental tricks

Today I have been pondering the best way to trick my brain. I think that it is a well known fact that running is probably 50% mental and 50% fitness (actual numbers may not be accurate but you get my meaning!). I generally find that when I am really dreading a run it goes far better than I expect yet when I am really looking forward to one it can be a real struggle.

A while ago I wrote how I managed to trick my brain into running for 90 minutes by breaking it down into two lots of 40 minutes (yes I know and a bit). This weekend I have 12 miles to do. As I was biking home I was pondering whether to split that into two 6 mile loops. I normally hate doing loops as there is that awful dread that you have to do it all over again, every hill, the windy bit etc, etc, etc. I also like the feeling of running a distance; “I ran here!” It feels like an achievement. Maybe I should run 6 miles out and 6 miles back? But that feels a bit like the loop except I wouldn’t have to run past my house which, let’s be honest, can only be a good thing.

The other way of looking at it is by breaking it into chunks as I did before. It will take me about 2 hours. That means two lots of  1hour (yuck!) or 4 lots of 30 minutes. I am not sure I fancy either of those options!

Normally when I run a longer distance I split it up into 3 mile chunks or 5k’s. This is about 30 minutes in length but I don’t think like that. 3 miles is easily doable. A 30 minute run is almost not worth going out for (anymore!). It is an easy(ish) run to do. Maybe this is the way to go? The trouble with this is that I still have to work out the route I am going to run. This strategy works best during races when I am beginning to struggle. If I used that tomorrow I would be thinking 4 lots of 3 miles….. Nope that will not get me round.

I was hoping that writing this would help me to find a solution. Unfortunately this hasn’t worked at all. Do any of you have any ideas? What would you do?


8 thoughts on “Mental tricks

  1. Frenchie in Canada

    Is there anyway you can find a 12 miles loop? One where there is something interesting at the half way point to keep you running? When I cross-country ski for 12k that’s what I do…. A giant loop! Good luck anyway

  2. travellinghopefully

    I like a big loop for a long run, or used to do a long run in one direction and get a lift home (it’s very mentally satisfying). Have you thought about 2 loops, but run the second one in the opposite direction? It’s weird how different that can make a route feel!

  3. Running Not Racing

    I have read your post about achieving this run already, but wanted to add a suggestion here. A lift out the full distance and then running home is another idea. It does take a bit of planning re loos and possible emergencies though


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