• 13/06/2024 15:58

How to make running easier: 5 tips from a sports psychologist

We've all been there: you're set up for a simple jog around the block, but once you get past that first kilometer, things start to go downhill. Your legs feel heavy, your feet are tired. As much as it may seem, it is unlikely that these problems are solely related to your fitness level. In fact, they may have nothing to do with them. If you want to figure out how to make running easier, think about what's going through your head during your workout.

Content< /span>How to Make Running Easier: Learn to Control Yourself Just Keep Smiling How to Make Running Easier: Focus on Things You Can Control Have Distractions Handy How to Make Running Easier: Go the Distance in Your Mind

Running is as much about the mindset as it is about physical abilities. The good news is that there are ways to use this fact to your advantage. While negative or incorrect thinking can make running difficult, positive headspace can make running easier and improve your performance. WomanEL will share advice from sports psychologist Josephine Perry.

How to make running easier: learn to control yourself

Nobody likes to feel tired and sore. But if you learn to accept these feelings as an integral part of the benefits of exercise, it will make the exercise more enjoyable.

“Research has shown that when we learn to view unpleasant feelings as something to be experienced rather than something we should ignore, we can cope better with them. And as a result, our perception of effort decreases,” explains Dr. Perry.

One study published in 2015 found that this approach reduced the perceived effort of women who rarely exercised by 55%. It has also been found to increase post-workout enjoyment, suggesting that this type of thinking may help maintain motivation.

Just Keep Smiling

Smile more often during exercise to increase enjoyment, Source: freepik.com

The old saying “fake it 'til you make it” really works. And a wider smile can actually make exercise easier and more enjoyable.

“Smiling is a free and effective tool for improving exercise performance,” says Dr. Perry. “Research has shown that smiling in competition can reduce your perception of effort and increase positive thoughts. Seeing others smile can also help us perform better, Dr. Perry adds. “In one study, cyclists on laboratory bicycles were tested to the point of exhaustion and found that those who were subconsciously primed to see happy faces were able to cycle 12% longer than those who saw gloomy faces and their perception of effort level was lower.”

How to Make Running Easier: Focus on Things You Can Control

Running is all about energy management. So don't waste extra energy worrying about things that are out of your control. Dr. Perry recommends creating a physical list to help you focus: “Write down the things you can control during your run so you don't waste your energy on anything that's not on the list. Focus on them so you can perform tasks brilliantly and not worry about possible results.”

Some examples of things you can control include your breathing, cadence, and posture. But you can't control things like the weather, any pain you get, or how tired or energized you feel.

Have distractions at hand

If you often find yourself stuck in your head and train of thoughts while running, distraction is a helpful way to keep your mind from wandering into negative places. “You can unplug by listening to music, podcasts or books, or interacting with others,” suggests Dr. Perry. “You can also fill your brain by doing math, counting, running a running blog in your head, or planning a post-run treat.”

How to make running easier: cover the distance in your head

< p>Sometimes your brain needs a little convincing that you can run the distance, and going the distance mentally is a great start. For example, if you're doing a 10K for the first time, try breaking it up into two 5Ks and counting to five before you reach the halfway point and counting down to zero.

“It's not just will relieve you of the feeling of intimidation. Completing each one will give you a dopamine boost, and having a goal for each section will help you stay focused on the task at hand,” explains Dr. Perry.

Confused about whether to run indoors or outdoors? Here we have summarized which training is more effective.

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