Showing Posts Tagged: Mental Conditioning for Runners

A Runner May Not Live A Day Longer, But Will Live A Longer Day!


I Live a Longer Day!


When my brother was in his running prime, he would say, “A runner may not live a day longer, but will live a longer day.”  This saying resonated with me ever since.  There are many reasons why I believe this saying is true, specifically due to running’s positive effects on your health, both physically and mentally.

In my late teens and early 20s, I smoked and ate junk food, meat and potatoes, and beer, were the main staple of my diet.  I’d light up the second I woke up, and sometimes even light up during a meal.  Yuck!  I didn’t focus on my health; it didn’t matter, I was invincible.  Fact is, if you buy a new car and beat it to death, it will run great for a while, however, at some point the abuse catches up and it falls apart.  If I would have continued down the path I was on, chances are I would be in extremely poor physical and mental health today, and therefore leading a miserable life.  Fortunately, I chose the path of a healthy life, and my life has been truly fulfilling.  The bottom line; if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.  Health is more important than all the money in the world.  I am glad I found running and chose the healthy path!

The Post-Marathon Blues

The fall marathon season is about to wrap up.  The weekend cluster of marathons will soon diminish and the cold days of winter will follow.  Sure, there are a few marathons to choose from, but those are usually for more hardcore marathoners.  It ‘s not that far off until the winter and spring cluster of  marathons consisting of Disney, L.A. and the super bowl of marathons – Boston, plus many more.

Post Marathon Blues

Post Marathon Blues

This past weekend I was checking Facebook, and it seemed that everyone on the planet did a marathon.  Post after post after post by my friends relaying that they completed their race, celebrating a PR, or relaying their pure satisfaction at their accomplishment, and even some bemoaning their disappointment with their result.  I could hardly keep up with all the posts and that got me thinking; after all those months of training, now what for them?  Of course, my mind immediately triggered “Post-Marathon (or Half-Marathon) Blues.”  I’ve been there and know the feeling all too well.

Got Runner’s Burnout?

It’s amazing to me the ups-and-downs and peaks and valleys of running.  The high times are when you feel like you’re on top of the world and your body feels like a well-oiled machine that can run mile-after-mile-after-mile — everything just clicks.  Even when you’re not running, you’re dreaming of running.  All you seem to think about is running, running and running.  It’s the anticipation to lace-up and pound out some miles, and even visualizing your next race.  The low times, however, come out of nowhere; something changes and your running motivation disappears, your times are slower and the floor drops from underneath and then you realize, gee I have a case of “Runners Burnout.”

Runner's Burnout

Runner’s Burnout

Yea, I know, now that the spring marathon and race season is just around the corner, the last thing you want to hear about is Runner’s Burnout!  But with the snow, rain, cold temperatures and flu these past few months, there are probably several normally motivated runners who are right now experiencing a severe case of Runner’s Burnout.  Just the thought of lacing up your running shoes is overwhelming, and forget about going outside.  Also, the dreaded “dreadmill” for a run is not even something you want to deal with.  And that upcoming race even seems impossible.  It sucks, but it does happen to us mere mortal runners every so often.

In”VINCE”ible – Sending Good Vibes a Fellow Runner’s Way!

Each day we wake up and never know what the day will bring.  It seems the older I get, the more it is drilled into me, almost daily, that you need to live each day as if is your last.  The saying, “life is short” is so true, although we all think we have forever.

There are people I look up to, who motivate and inspire me, and most of them are a secret only to me.  But today I am going to share one of them with you, and ask that you keep him in your thoughts and send good vibes his way.  He’s in the fight of his life and he is tough, very tough, and I have no doubt in my mind he will overcome and win.

Dave Longcope, Vice DiCroce,  Jim Lynch


Running has been in the fiber of my being for several years, 25 to be exact.  Now, however, when the new year comes around, I don’t even think of resolutions that pertain to running.  Now a days, running is more of an enjoyment than an annual competition with myself, and I like it that way.  I just want to keep running!

Running Resolutions

I no longer get wrapped up in extensive regimented training, but don’t get me wrong, I give every run, training run and race my all.  I still prepare for marathons by doing my long runs, speed and hill work.  However, I no longer get wrapped up in trying to set a personal best or to qualify for Boston.  I’m just happy that I’m still running, especially injury free.  I just want to keep running!

When I’m at the start line of a marathon, I know I will end up at the finish line… eventually.  I also know it won’t be my personal worst.  Believe me, I still have my fierce drive and laser mental focus, and I still get that exhilarating feeling every time I cross the marathon finish line.  I just want to keep running!

Runners – Don’t Fear the Wall, Crash through It!


Don't Fear the Wall!


“The Wall” is one word that runners fear most.  It’s the point of a marathon where your body basically falls apart due to depletion of glycogen stored in the muscles and liver.  This in turn increases lactate acid build up in your legs.  Your leg muscles become so sore that it’s almost impossible to keep running and threatens to destroy your race.  This  can happen at any time during a marathon, but is usually somewhere between miles 18 and 22.  It’s long been immortalized at mile 20.

I’ve seen many marathon runners hit the wall during a race and, yes, I’ve hit the wall.  It’s crazy; you’ll be cruising along at mile 17 feeling great and BAM, it hits you as if you actually ran right into a brick wall.  It generally doesn’t creep up on you; it just suddenly happens.

Self-Motivation for a Runner on Vacation is Necessary!


Self-Motivation on Vacation is Tough!


I’m currently on vacation in Maui, Hawaii (yea tough) and am completely off my regular running schedule.  You would think, man, being on vacation (especially in Hawaii) you should be running 100 miles a week!  Well, that’s just not the case.  Have you ever been on vacation and been super-motivated the first couple of days, then found your self-motivation just dissolves?

Vacation is a time to relax and enjoy, right?  That means good food, drinks and fun times with your spouse, family, significant other or yourself.  Plus, Hawaii brings some additional distractions such as the ocean, beach and plenty of warm sun.  Kinda gets in the way of running.  Right now, if I don’t get up at the crack of dawn, chances are my run for the day will quickly fade away.  Sometimes when I get up while here, I just don’t feel like running — I’d rather stare at the ocean (understandably).  Plus, I don’t have my running group nor running friends to drag my lazy butt out like I do in Denver.  So, I gotta do it completely on my own and that’s where self-motivation needs to kick in.

I am a Runner – I Run in the Present and I Live a Longer Day!


When Running, You Live in the Present!


I was with a friend recently and he shared this Dalai Lama thought on “man” with me.  It resonated with me in so many ways that I asked if he could email it to me.  I’ve looked at it a few times and then pondered upon it being a runner.  Now, I ‘m not going to get all spiritual on you, but if you think about it, runners really are closer to living in the present than most people.  What do I mean?

Lets break this down: “Man… sacrifices his health to make money.”  Okay, we all need to make money to live, but runners balance it all out by living an active lifestyle to maintain not only physical but also mental health.  Next, man “sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”  All in all, most runners live an active and healthy lifestyle.  Therefore, the money we invest is in running shoes and active wear.  Sure, we runners do get colds, flus and other common illnesses, however, all in all, we reduce the risk of many diseases due to the health benefits realized by running.

Embrace the Taper? – Not That Easy for a Runner!


Tapering Prior to Your Race Can Be Stressful!

Okay.  So you’re now in the heart of spring marathon and half-marathon season. Boston is just over a week away and a lot of other popular marathons and half-marathons are scheduled for April and May.  You’ve been following your training schedule and probably doing several long runs.  At this point, you feel you’re trained, although maybe feeling a little fatigued.  You’re done with your last long run, and then you announce to the world, “I’m now tapering!!”  Oh boy, everyone around you will feel the need to duck or run for the hills!

Tapering is supposed to be your time of rest before your race–time for your body to relax and store energy for the big day.  Time for you to sit back and reflect upon all the hours upon hours of disciplined running that sucked up your life for the past four to six months, and a time to ponder your upcoming race.

In Running – The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste!

Your Mind is the Key to a Successful Race!


Spring marathon and half-marathon season is upon us, and there are a slew of them in April and May, including the Super Bowl of all marathons, Boston.

The cold months (in most areas) of physical training, with a combination of long runs, goal pace miles, hill repeats, cross-training and all the other ingredients to prepare you for the big day is not only necessary but mandatory–it gets all your critical body parts and muscles in condition.  However, besides building your body engine, you also need to work very hard on your computer, the critical hard drive–your mind (also known as mental conditioning).  For many seasoned runners, this is all too familiar and to be straight up, the mind is the ultimate make or break component as you work your way through your race.  In my opinion, mental conditioning is even more critical than all the physical training you’ve done to prepare for your race.