I know I’ve been MIA for the past couple weeks but I’ll have some more articles coming up soon. In the meantime, I’d like to thank guest blogger Bethany Widdicombe for her generous offer to write a post about overcoming limitations. To read more of Bethany’s articles along with running shoe reviews and other tips, make sure to check out runningstats.com
Getting Past Your Limitations
Written By: Bethany Widdicombe at Running Stats
Getting past your limitations is the hardest part about being a runner. When you hit your hardest mile and the pain is surging through you, it can be hard to keep moving forward. Some days you may feel the want to quit or think you are limited in being able to keep up your usual pace. It is in the dark feeling that comes the most powerful mental game in your running lifestyle.
The reality of life as a runner is the will power to move past your preconceived limitations. Getting stuck in your limitations may make you feel powerless or insufficient. The science behind your mental game shows that you are more capable than you think, and can achieve greater mileage with active positivity.
What Are You Saying To Yourself?
Take a moment to pause and think of when your body begins to shut down during your run. What are you mentally saying to yourself in that moment?
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A study in 2012 revealed cyclists rivaling a computerized competitor going one percent faster than them actually increased their percentage in keeping up. Meaning, when you start training with someone who is slightly faster than you, you will be able to keep up, mentally and physically.
For some, it is the challenge of reoccurring injuries or the persistence of self-doubt. Your mental mentality during training or a race can greatly determine how far you can push your limitations. There are key ways to work past the frustration of limitation, and it starts with you believing that you can achieve the impossible.
The fact you are already out there running shows that you are on your way to achieving more than the average person. Surround yourself with people who share the common understanding of pushing your limits to conquer goals. No matter your age, health condition, or circumstance, you can run that extra mile and experience the thrill of finishing a long race.
When Your Body Wants to Quit
When your body becomes physically fatigued, it sends a signal to your brain to slow down. Your body starts to create a mental block of why you cannot move physically forward. In the moment of wanting to quit, you have a chance for opportunity. Athletes of all kinds comment on how training defines a race. If you are able to process the pain in your body, you can create a mental toughness that will guide you through any life circumstance.
To get past your set of limitations, create goals you want to achieve. Break down your set of goals into smaller steps that are doable every day. As you slowly train and work past your mental block of physical fatigue, you will experience results. Follow through in your plans, as action creates desired results.
When you see runners pass you by in a race, apply your training, and conquer with your eyes set forward.
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Strategize Around Obstacles
Your mind will create every excuse in the book to quit, as you feel tired. You may feel too old, too heavy, too light, too inexperienced, too experienced, or even want to give up running all together. Strategize around your excuses and surround yourself with a supportive team who can help you move past your mental blocks. Whether it is joining a running group, or simply asking your family to cheer you on, you need support to strategize around mental and physical obstacles.
Alongside your training program, keep your action plan always near. Write down personal training successes, even if it is just as simple as saying more positive things to yourself as you intensify your runs. Reassuring yourself every day that you are stepping closer to your goals will guide you into more positive experiences during your run.
Recognize that there are thousands of runners who suffer the same negative feelings as you in those tough moments. Even professional runners experience the hardship of bodily pain and the negative thoughts of wanting to quit. In the moment of wanting to give up, visualize yourself pushing forward, and put it into action. Positive thoughts and the encouragement of others can propel you forward to your greatest race yet.
Keep pushing the limits, and propel yourself forward by achieving the impossible.
Bethany Widdicombe is a runner at heart, a researcher by nature, and a writer by passion. Having traveled across the world, she continues to be an advocate for awareness and knowledge that empowers people to a better life. You can now find her running out on the trail, or nestled away writing her next article for Running Stats.