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Running psychology tips: What to think about while running a race?

Think Positive & Organise your thought process
Think Positive & Organise your thought process
Modified 28 Jul 2018, 11:48 IST

Running is a funny thing. Your mind does a lot of hop- skip –jump on the run. Most runners hit the wall at some point of time in a race. It’s significant to have a plan when the race gets hard-hitting, laborious and strenuous. But one cannot experiment with these game strategies straight into the race. These master plans need to be executed during training for optimum performance. Few mental tricks to get you out of a running storm:

1.      Talk to yourself and check your mental status – It’s good to give yourself some inspirational talk like “I am going to finish this anyway”, “I’ve come a long way for this”, “I am going to crush the finish line” and “My strength is in the mind”. Recall all the training and hard work you’ve put in to participate in the race and how awesome it’s going to be once you finish.

2.      Stay Positive – Focus on all the good things and do not reminisce about bad running experiences. Think about all the strong runs you have executed. One cannot control situations taking place during the race e.g. bad weather but the runner can control how to react to it.

3.      Strengthen your mind—During training, you need to push yourself into the uncomforting zone. When you practice this more often eventually you get towards beating toughness.

4.      Design small targets in the race -- Do not look at the race from the Macro point of view. Break it into bits and smaller miles. E.g. quality run up to the next checkpoint or a turning point or a landmark. This will help you to stay more focused overall and eventually find it easier.

5.      Go Trolling – Watch out for a runner in front of you who you think you can keep up with. Keep that runner in sight and continue trailing that person as you get closer to the runner. Once you cross the runner, hunt another runner and repeat the rolling process!

It is very important you incorporate the above-mentioned techniques in your training. Do not wait for the race to strengthen your mind or you will find your mental cells not in strong shape when you need to push beyond. These benefits can even help a novice runner. No matter the magnitude, every runner faces their own sets of tests and blackouts. With little brainstorming techniques and prep, every runner can overcome these challenges.

If all the above mentioned techniques fail, then dive and get your mind zoned into thinking the following on the run:

1.      Focus on how you are breathing with the rhythm

2.      Your Thought process when you are on the run


3.      Keep a close check on your form

4.       Think about what your body is undergoing currently.

5.      Think about post-race celebration.

What do you think about while running? While you are on the run, what your brain does is equally important as to what your body is doing. Having enthusiastic, encouraging, self-defeating visions will help establish brighter output than negative, self-crushing thoughts.

Few thoughts most runners experience on the run:

1.      Somebody is behind me and going to go ahead soon…

2.      Hey… is somebody clicking my picture? Hope it comes well

3.      Why. Why. Why did I sign up for this pain?

4.      I can’t wait to run again tomorrow

5.      I need to increase the gap between me and the runner behind

6.      Can’t wait to finish and get my beer

7.      Oh wow! she’s hot (Pace Increasing)

8.      Wish some runners dropout and DNF… I can then relax

9.      Thank god… my favourite song is playing

10.  What a beautiful morning. Love the beach

11.  I need to finish…then I’m in the papers again

12.  I love my sponsors. Damn they make my life so easy

13.  Here comes the uphill…

14.  Wild animal might show up any moment

15.  Am I going to make it to the finish? What will people think if I don’t?

16.  Aah!! Flat terrain finally…time to cover up…thank god!

Learn to incorporate discipline into your thoughts so you can control your running. Implement Running Psychology to favour your miles – arrange your thoughts and cherish your run even more!

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Published 28 Jul 2018, 11:48 IST
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