I just finished reading Deena Kastor’s book, Let Your Mind Run (which I highly recommend… it’s a great book). In her book, Deena spoke about how gratitude transformed her mind and running. Inspired by this reading, I wanted to share a simple gratitude practice to help you improve your mental and physical training this week. This is an excellent practice for runners but, more importantly, it is an excellent practice for people. Focusing on gratitude can improve mood, focus, and energy.
This practice is simple which is partly what makes it so beautiful. Using the list below for each day this week, identify five things that you are grateful for each day. You can form this list throughout your day or solely focus on it at the end of your day. Challenge yourself to identify things that are different from what you noted on your gratitude list the day before. Utilize the follow-up questions to record other important observations about yourself and this activity.
I am grateful for:
Was this activity challenging or easy today?
What did I notice about my thinking today?
Did this activity affect my thinking?
Did this activity affect my behaviors/ performance?
Are there any other observations that I want to note pertaining to my thinking, behaviors, or this activity today?
Celebrate your successes. By bringing your attention to your successes, you can improve confidence. Runners who are more confident take greater risks and, as a result, can experience greater accomplishments.
Practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness can promote greater mental control leading to improved focus during running training and racing. Practicing mindfulness can also help you to identify and change unhelpful thinking that is getting in the way of your running performance.
Focus on your goals. Remember what you are working towards. By focusing on the “why” to your training, you can draw upon additional motivation to fuel your workout today.
For more information on how you can improve your mental training to enhance your running, check out Run Your Mind Training Workbook below.
Run Your Mind Training Workbook
This workbook is designed to both introduce you to general concepts in sport psychology and to help you to implement psychology techniques to improve your running performance. Throughout this workbook, you will focus on enhancing your goal development, motivation, mental toughness, confidence, concentration, and energy management. This workbook contains some information about caring for the body including yoga practices to supplement your running training. This workbook also contains several sample training plans and a training journal section in which you will be able to integrate the information that you have learned throughout this workbook into your training.