Mental Tricks


Tuesday (1/17):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 44:46, 8:58 Pace)

Yoga 25 Mins

Wednesday (1/18):


Thursday (1/19):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 43:46, 8:46 Pace)

Friday (1/20):


Saturday (1/21):

12 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:42:05, 8:31 Pace)

Sunday (1/22):

3.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% Incline, 30:05, 8:36 Pace)

9.6 Miles Bike Easy (Trainer, 40:03, 14.38 mph)

Total Running Miles: 25.5

Monday (1/23):

Yoga 45 Mins

8.3 Miles Bike Easy (Trainer, 40:02, 12.44 mph)

Tuesday (1/24):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 43:12, 8:39 Pace)

Wednesday (1/25):

3.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 30:25, 8:42 Pace)

Thursday (1/26):

10.1 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:23:07, 8:13 Pace)

Friday (1/27):

6.05 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 52:07, 8:37 Pace)

Yoga 25 Mins

Saturday (1/28):

7 Miles Easy w/Pick Ups (Treadmill, 59:03, 8:27 Pace)

Yoga 25 Mins

Sunday (1/29):

21 Miles Long (Treadmill, Boston Course, -3% Incline – +6% Incline, 2:56:54, 8:26 Pace)

Total Running Miles: 53.65

Last week of training didn’t go off as planned. I’ve had some strange leg flutter/pain that has caused weakness on my left side. I backed off my running, iced and eased back into things. The ghost-like symptoms have seemed to subside, but I will keep up with icing and stretching to try and stay in front of it.

My training in general is lighter than last year based on my recovering fitness and work/life schedule. I’m not expecting to set any new land speed records at the Boston Marathon and I am just hopeful to feel strong and have a good race experience.

With every marathon training cycle I’ve noticed that I have a mental check list to feel prepared for an upcoming race. One of those checkpoints is running a long run and feeling like I have a marathon in my legs and could finish the whole thing. That came to me on Sunday’s run. I felt strong enough to see the whole thing through. Now I have to focus on improving my speed with tempo and lactate threshold workouts. However, if my body doesn’t feel fit enough for it then I may have to settle with just getting the miles in and completing the race than setting a new PR.

While running my 21 miler I was thinking about the mental tricks I play to make a run feel shorter. For instance, when I have a mid-week long run of 14 miles or so it can be exhausting to think about after a long day at work. So I will tell myself that it’s 2 – 7 milers. 7 miles out and back is all and somehow it sounds better in my mind. Even if I’m on the treadmill I just envision the run taking place outside and turning around at the 7 mile mark to “head back home” and somehow the treadmill run feels better.

When it came to 21 miles on the treadmill this Sunday I noticed that I have mental tricks to pass the time that stares me in the face. I broke the run up mentally in the following way:

Mile 7 – First hour of running down, less than 2 hours to go! 33% Done!

Mile 8 – First Hammer Gel, yum!

Mile 10.5 – Half way!!

Mile 14 – 2 Hours done, less than 1 hour to go! 66% Done!

Mile 15 – Second Hammer Gel, yum!

Mile 18 – Less than 5K to go!!

Mile 21 – All done!! Bam!!

What mental tricks do you have for long or challenging runs?

4 thoughts on “Mental Tricks

  1. I don’t think any mental trick in the world could get me through 21 miles on a treadmill! You are a beast! I am so blessed to have a running group to do my long runs with. I think i’ve only done two long runs w/o my group since August and one of them chris was with me for. — I also sometimes tell myself it’s X out & X back, that does seem to help break up the run some.


  2. I always try to break up my long runs on the TM to reduce boredom. Usually my mental tricks include “just one more song and you can slow down a bit”!


  3. Usually when Amy and I do long training runs, we’ll have our mom meet us with water or gels. She’ll usually surprise us with ice cold wash cloths too 🙂 Also, we’ll stash gels and gatorade at a friend’s house along the route. It’s nice to have a friendly face to look forward to! Definitely helps break up a run!


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