A Runners Guide To Mental Skills

During Your Training You Will Meet Many Obstacles, From Injury To Making Excuses Not To Run, But It Is The Ability To Overcome These Obstacles That Will Ensure You Stay On Track With Your Training.

As the weeks go by, Mental skills training should become more and more a part of your running programme, and like anything, it must be trained to hone these skills. Here are some areas to focus on to push your training further. 

You should look to practice 2 or 3 of these for ten minutes a day at home or while running if possible

Goal Setting 

Setting realistic yet challenging goals will put your motivation into concrete, and writing them down can help reinforce your goals daily. Also, Having both short and long term goals will promote progress each day of training towards your overall end goal.

When setting goals, it is important to be aware of your own current ability level and set specific goals relative to this ensuring you don't use other people's performances as a bench mark.  

Most importantly, you must commit to the goals you make for each day, each week and month and the demands that come with them.

Positive Mental Attitude

Maintaining a positive mental attitude is essential for progress in your training. The ability to improve each day you train is very achievable, and competing against your best self is a means of doing so. Maintaining a positive outlook, even on the bad days is what will make your training successful in the long run.


Using goals is an obvious start, but also, running with a friend can push you maintain a routine, watching runners you aspire to become can help motivate you, aswell as using an upcoming event or race to work towards. These tips can aid your motivation and push your training further. 


Rather than focusing on stress, use your run to picture the runner that you want to be. Using mental imagery to see your goals crosses over to real life, with the same parts of the brain used for mental and physical rehearsal. Pay attention to your form and breathing while running to ensure you maintain a running rhythm putting your thoughts into reality.

Positive Self-Talk

Positive self- re assurance and encouragement is essential to continue running through pain and to harness improvements. Making sure positive rather than negative voices are being sounded in your head while running is important for your motivation to start and motivation to continue running.