Fight The Bonk: Head Trip

It’s true that a good portion of any race is mental. And, it’s true that our minds are capable of very weird things in a race, as well as very awesome things. Here are a few tips to keep your monkeys in check when the mind starts to fall in a hole:

1. Fake it. Pretend you’re in the Olympics, or some other huge event, and you are so about to win and the whole world is screaming– in the stadium, at the television sets, all over the place– for you to win. And you can, as long as you hold off the guy/gal inches behind you. Push that edge then hold it until you feel yourself getting into a better place.

2. Pick them off. Pick an object like a tree or a stop sign, or a loudly-colored short of a fellow runner if you absolutely must be stone cold like that, and pick ’em off. Just focus on running to the target, or focus on passing your target person.

3. Go someplace else. Go ahead and trip out a little bit. Your body will likely keep doing what it’s doing, so mull over an issue, plan a dinner party, imagine cooking a huge meal upon which you’ll feast at the finish line, whatever. Just don’t zone out so much that you forget where you are, what you’re doing, etc and inadvertantly slow down and run off the road.

4. Have an emergency playlist in the reserves. I have a few songs on this short list. Songs that i’ve run with before that I equate with really outstanding running successes. Just the song is mental cue enough to make me feel better. I do this one a lot. It’s my lucky charm for sure.

5. Make a mantra. I hear these all the time towards the end of a race. Some make sense, some absolutely do not. A friend of mine always chants “you’re going home, let’s go home” to herself towards the end of a race, which is cool, and I’ve heard everything from “do it for Billy” to “tater tots” being mumbled in the final miles. Hey, whatever works. I once ran past a Jamba Juice and got “jumba jumba jumba juice” stuck in my head. Like I said, whatever works. Truly.

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2 Responses

  1. The Man (o’ mine) likes to pick off runners to pass. Me, I’m more of a mantra girl myself. On really hard runs, I write the blog post…

  2. Numbers 3 & 4 always work for me, too.

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