Endurance running and the mental side

Is endurance running all stamina, physics and hard training in the gym and on the road – nope – Well at least not for me and I would say anybody who have tried out with endurance running will know that there is much more to it and most of the people who try out with endurance running and fail often fails because of lack of mental strength. The thoughts you go through during ultrarunning are tough and changing all the time once you think you conquered over your thoughts, new thoughts come popping up and you will have to deal with this side of the endurance running because lack of mental strength will mean not as good results or in worst case you will have to drop out.

Endurance running mental side

Most endurance runners have the same questions pop up while they are running and the tough once always “arrives” when you are tired, have a lack of energy or feeling pain (during endurance running you mostly are in for some kind of pain). The big question that many faces are the question “Why am I doing this?” when I could be sitting home with my family or friends. I could have been laying on my couch watching television etc. What I find so good about this is the returning struggle with my mind. My mind trying to take over and make decisions for me but for me it has become a game – A game of trying to out smart my brain and my ego. I often look at it like a game of chess where I have to make the right move not to loose the game so actually with a lot of practice (that is what it takes) I have conditioned my brain to see these things as a fun game, for me it’s fun to analyze my thoughts while I run and even laugh at what the brain is trying to convince me to do.

Instead of the struggle I go with the flow and accept things as they are which instead of making things “grow” they slowly disappear and the more I do this the easier I find it to let the “bad” thoughts go and not take over. So endurance running or ultrarunning as some would call it is not only physical endurance but also mental endurance and just like any other things you want to be good at, you will have to practice. Running practice is not the only thing. Mental practice is the thing to get the edge with other endurance runners.

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