Running and mental resilience

If you’re a runner you’ll already know this, but running isn’t just about physical resilience it’s about mental resilience too.

Sometimes you can feel fine physically but mentally the battle is real. Your legs might feel fine but you’re on the struggle bus and it can be hard to get off. It might be just one run or a few but somehow you know it’ll pass. We all get it, it’s part of running, and as a community we’re amazing at helping others out and giving some support to help find that elusive missing running mojo.

I’ve had a string of not so great runs recently as I’ve been getting over being ill. Yes, I’ll have a moan, but that never stops me going out for the next run hopeful that the tide will turn and this run will be the one that gets me back on track. The one where I feel comfortable again and it all falls back into place. Those runs on the struggle bus are the ones that help us when we get to race day or the day of a virtual challenge to show us we can do it no matter what.

A rough run and I might give myself an extra day off or make sure I run solo so I can go at my pace rather than trying to keep up with others. I make adjustments to my expectations and within a short time I’m back on track.

I can be mentally resilient when it comes to running, a bad run and it wouldn’t stop me going out again, I’ll chalk it up to a bad run and let it pass. But in other areas of my life I give myself a hard time for not reaching my goal.

What I’ve not learnt to do still is transfer my attitude and approach to my running to other parts of my life. I know I need to start looking at the small wins that are the stepping stones to the wider overarching goal. I need to acknowledge that they are all helping me get to where I want to be, rather than thinking that I’ve not achieved the goal. I wouldn’t expect to undertake the ultra I’m doing in three weeks time without the training I put in, they are simply the stepping stones to get the the final goal.

I’m going to make a real effort to remember that each task completed is a step towards the outcome I’m looking for rather than focussing on the outcome without acknowledging the steps it takes to get there.

I have the skills now it’s time to put them into action.

In my happy place out on the Wales Coast Path during my first ultra

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