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9013 Views 29 Replies Latest reply: Apr 25, 2010 3:33 AM by Gravity06 1 2 Previous Next
fldogwalker Pro 68 posts since
Jan 25, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 21, 2010 5:42 PM

If you run with your mind and your heart,  I promise that your legs will follow.

You can follow all the training plans you like, but until you come to terms with the fact that your mind and your heart control the forward motion of your body, you will not honestly know what you are capable of, or how far you can push yourself.  


We have evolved into a naturally lazy species. We always look for the easy way out.  Your mind will by instinctively respond to fatigue or discomfort by convincing the body to stop or quit.  The thoughts begin as the symptoms begin.  However, once you can strengthen your mind to overcome these negative thoughts your performance will improve DRAMATICALLY. The next time you feel the urge to stop before the end of a run, ask yourself why.  Is it because you are out of breath?  Not likely.  Are you unable to put one foot in front of another? I bet not.  In fact, you probably started thinking of quitting a quarter to a half mile ago but you somehow managed to keep running while contemplating giving up...   SHOCKER! 


Your body is capable of so much more than the mind would like to think.  Your mind will make you believe you are done..  but fight it...  fight back.  You will be amazed at the results.


Run to run. The next time you are on following some predetermined training plan and you have to run exactly X amount of miles because the plan told you so, ask yourself..  "why can't I run how far I want to run..  because I want to run"     


It's called breaking through. Once you have this break through, you will understand.    If you are motivated by your waist size and a run is 2 or 3 mile redemption for the donuts you couldn't resist last night then you just won't get it.  If your pre run routine includes stuffing the headphones from your ipod into your ears and saying to yourself  "ok.. let's get this over with" then your missing the point. The day you run to run and you create a relationship with your running, will be your breakthrough.  Your mind and heart can and will take you to places unthinkable to most, impossible for many. 


Then, at that moment of your break through, when people ask you why you run...  you can say for the first time.  WHY NOT?!

"Enter a race.  Train to become faster and stronger.  Honor the commitment. Reap the rewards." - me

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007

    There are some similar thoughts in Kristin Armstrong's article in the May issue of Runner's World, "Feeling Lucky? (If you view your run as an opportunity, your attitude will get an adjustment)". The bottom line is that instead of thinking negative, as in "I have to do this run", we should think positive - as in "I'm fortunate that I get to do this run".

    The article is at,7124,s6-243-297--13480-0,00.html#

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57

  • dfitz* Legend 612 posts since
    Aug 20, 2008

    Good thoughts. One of the many things I love about ChiRunning is that it encourages us to think of our running not as a sport or as exercise, but as a practice. It's not something you do, it's part of who you are.

  • ActiveWatches Dave Legend 207 posts since
    Apr 13, 2010

    Great post fldogwalker.  - The Place for Sports Watches

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  • vanessaruns1 Expert 40 posts since
    Mar 19, 2010

    YAY! There aren't enough posts like this.


    The brain is THE single most imporant organ when it comes to running. It's the ONLY organ that will adapt to your running as you run, as opposed to during periods of rest. It is also the brain, and NOT your muscles, that is responsible for controlling fatigue. Here is some info on your brain's role in running and how to harness its power -


    Running with mind and heart played a huge role in getting me through the winter season where I would run in -20C temperatures, and LOVED it! You can find a description of my winter runs here -


    As far as why I run, that's almost a stupid question. IT'S MORE FUN THAN WALKING! D-uh.


    Here is my attempt at explaining running to a non-runner -


    Happy running!

    Vanessa Rodriguez

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008

    I don't want to be a buzzkill here, but how about a reality check?


    Sometimes you have an injury.  Sometimes your mind says GO and your body C.A.N.N.O.T  do it.  Yeah, you can take painkillers and push through the pain to a point.  But then the injury gets worse.  Your body is a machine and your brain is command central.  If a piece of the machine is broken, then it can't move no matter what the message coming through is.


    I LOVE to run.  My mind and heart are always up for it.  My torn ligament/tendinitis/whatever the heck it is in the back of my knee is going to put the brakes on that no matter how much I want to run.  And believe me, I am all about running through the pain because I WANT to run.  Looking for the lazy way out?  Uh-uh!  I don't want an excuse or a reason to stop.  I am so stubborn that I won't stop until the leg simply refuses to function any further.  Meanwhile I am probably risking some long term damage by running on this injury.


    Your mind will make you believe you are done..  but fight it...  fight back.


    No, dude, its not like that at all.  My mind is looking at that next mile.  My leg is screaming in pain and begging me to just stop already and let it heal in peace.  I know you are one of those hardcore types who thinks anyone who stops running is a sissy, so I won't even comment about how an injury might kick your a$$ one day and you'll be singing a different tune!


    Have a nice day.....:)

  • merylp Pro 116 posts since
    May 18, 2009

    Thank you for one of the best posts I've ever read on this board!  One of the biggest lessons I've learned while trying to become a runner is that so much of it is mental.


    I am fairly new to running, and am slow compared to most, but I am thrilled with my own progress over the last year and can't wait to do more!  That being said, it never fails that about 10 mins into all of my runs I want to stop.  Your advice, to ask yourself why you want to stop, is exactly what I do each time.  It goes something like this in my head... "Why do you want to stop?  Ummm.  Are you legs tired? No.  Can you breathe? Yes. Then why?  Because it would be so much easier to stop, right?  Do you want to take the easy way out?  No. Then keep running!"... and so I do.  I keep running, and afterwards I feel great!  

    Meryl I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday. ~Author Unknown

    C25K Graduate 7/18/2009

  • linda steele Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 6, 2010

    Thanks for a great post and inspiration.  I originally started running to try to lose weight.  It worked well, but I my heart wasn't really in it.  I signed up for a 5K run and had to force myself to do it.  I am going to try to look at it differently from now on.

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008

    fldogwalker wrote:


    Thanks for the comments.     Marykb..      if you have that many injuries.. you may wan to reevaluate your gait?


    I am merely discussing running through mental weakness..   when your mind wants to stop..  but your body has so much left. If you haven't read it yet,  I would recommend reading "born to run" ..   it may open your eyes to some of these injuries you are dealing with.


    Happy running all!


    "Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open."



    First of all, yes, I've read Born to Run.


    Secondly, I don't have "that many" injuries.  In 16 years of running off and on, I have had exactly ONE injury (this one!) that hasn't quickly resolved.  It actually happened in January when I was running on ice and pulled something - a tendon, ligament?  Not sure.  But because I have continued to run on it all this time, it hasn't healed.  Something in your original post touched off a nerve with me as if anyone would WANT to stop running and needed inspiration to keep moving when my problem is exactly the opposite that I want nothing more than to run but the injury just isn't letting me do it (much).

  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008

    Great post!  I so love the mental part of running and always have to catch myself when I'm getting to attached to my Garmin for pace or heart rate.  I start to get to mechanical and think to hard about my stride, my pace, my time, my miles, my heart rate.  That's why I try to get at least one run a week in and just run  how I feel. Sometimes its slow and sometimes it's fast, sometimes I listen to music and others I just zone out and relax.  One thing that I will say in favor of training programs is that they keep you disciplined and focused especially if your new to running and you have a race distance goal in mind.  Training programs can help break some of the mental fears of preparation when you getting ready for your first 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon.  When you first start training for those distances and races it can seem daunting and training programs break the preparation down into a more mentally do-able format.    Really positive post though!!  Thanks for sharing a great perspective fldogwalker!!!!

    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

  • growlerius Pro 74 posts since
    Aug 15, 2009

    Thank you, Marykb!!!  I had a vague disagreement with this post and you beautifully put it into words, the key one being 'reality.'  You can easily take a transcendental approach to anything if you think about it hard enough; running is no exception.


    I'm only 10 lbs overweight but I haven't run regularly in 10 years, so I took the OP's approach last summer.  I felt constrained by C25K, like I wouldn't be pushing myself hard enough if I undertook the program.  I really wanted to run...everyday, all the time, but still I only trained 3 or 4 times a week.  Within a month, I was sidelined with an overuse injury that laid me off until this February.  I'm now on Week 7 of C25K, and my mind is telling me I can do more, and just push myself to 3 miles already for crying out loud, etc. etc.  But I stick with the plan, knowing that I'm getting to my ultimate goals healthfully and injury-free.  Sometimes I feel as though I can and want to run further, but I know from experience that my mind and spirit are over-ambitious much of the time, and I know I need to trust the training.


    I also love to run, but I don't think I'll ever transcend the mind-body barrier as it sounds like the OP has.  That said, the article posted above is incredibly inspirational, and a great mantra to live and run by.

  • ciavyn Amateur 19 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    Great post. Some of you are taking it literally to your specific situation -- believe me, I feel you! But that's not it's intent, or at least, not the way I read it. Some people run because it's a duty or a way to punish themselves for what they ate or didn't do yesterday. It truly should be something you love. Our bodies were made to move, to run, to walk, to be strong. That doesn't mean over train or push yourself beyond pain. But often we quit when things are tough simply because in our heads, we think we can't. But our bodies can, we just don't let them. I love the message, and it fits very well into a society that pretends that it cannot do more, when most of us (note, I say most) can. thank you for words to live by.

  • 2power Pro 91 posts since
    Jan 5, 2010

    what I gleaned from the post was kind of a general "you can do it" message to fellow runners. I didn't read anything about running through injuries,  I took it as just a general push through your tough run' post to possibly give some words of encouragement to runners who find themselves struggling at times. Even though I may disagree with a  point or two, I appreciate your encouragement, thanks!

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008

    2power wrote:


    what I gleaned from the post was kind of a general "you can do it" message to fellow runners. I didn't read anything about running through injuries,  I took it as just a general push through your tough run' post to possibly give some words of encouragement to runners who find themselves struggling at times.

    Here's the comment that set me off:


    The next time you feel the urge to stop before the end of a run, ask yourself why.  Is it because you are out of breath?  Not likely.  Are you unable to put one foot in front of another? I bet not.

    Really?  Who's to say whether a person is out of breath or can't put one foot in front of another?  If I'm INJURED, then maybe I really can't put one foot in front of another.


    Yeah, I get the whole idea of the "rah, rah, use your mind to push your body thing".  I've heard it before, we all have.  But I am a very pragmatic type of person so all that doesn't appeal much to me in general, and certainly not with the injury factor.


    I am a big believer in LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!  That is the advice I give people who are starting to run.  In my opinion, your body will tell you when you can push further and when you need to back off. It is a natural protective mechanism.  Right now I am not heeding my own advice.  Because my mind wants to keep going I am running in spite of my body telling me loudly and clearly that THIS INJURY NEEDS REST!  So I am the flip side of the coin.


    However, if this kind of pep talk inspires you guys, then that's great!  This is just another opinion for discussion. 

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