We love to run. It fuels us and brings joy into our lives.
To achieve your best in anything, you have to be confident. Your mind needs to possess a calm, positive disposition so that you can strive to reach your goals. For different people it means various things - some runners work hard to achieve a particular time goal, other runners want to run certain mileage or days per week. Yet another runner just wants to get off the couch and start running for the very first time (you can do it!).
No matter which category you fall into, these steps will help you to feel confident each time you lace up those (super fancy!) running shoes.
1. Set a goal and go for it.
Once you set a goal, don't let anything or anyone stand in your way. Surround yourself with people who are going to support you. Have a friend who raises their eyebrows when you say you are going to start running five days a week? You can still be friends, but that is not the person you want to share your running goals with. Once the seed of doubt is planted, it begins to grow and soon you'll be convincing yourself that there is NO WAY you can run five days a week with all that you have going on in your life.
Positivity, optimism and glass half full are the words you need in your vocabulary. To achieve goals in running (and in life) you need to speak it, think it and work at it every day. Share your goals with a family member or friend who is going to lift you up and cheer for you.
2. Flexibility is okay, but no excuses.
Yes, you have a busy life and sometimes life gets in the way. It's okay and perfectly normal to maintain some flexibility in your running, but get rid of the excuses. If you have to move your hard workout to another day during the week - do it, but don't skip it altogther unless you have a very solid reason (i.e. you are sick and can't run).
Excuses just set you up for skipping the work, which ultimately moves you further away from achieving your goals = lack of confidence.
3. Be Your Biggest Cheerleader
This is a big problem for so many runners. We have to take the time to cheer on our small successes along the way toward the big goals. You went from the couch to running two times a week? That is huge and you should really cheer for that. The five days a week will come soon enough, but at least you aren't sitting on the couch anymore.
The one minute PR you ran in your half marathon? I know, I know - it's not the six minute PR you (freakin) trained for, but give yourself a break - you grabbed a PR!
4. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
It's so easy to run those comfortable nine mile runs on that same route that you love and that is great. However... if you want to improve - how about running the route with the three hills that intimidate you and picking up the pace on those hills? Or how about instead of six steady miles, you run two of those miles at half marathon pace? Do more runs and workouts that scare you and the payoff will be huge in the end. Bonus? You will feel pretty darn badass at the end of those workouts!
5. Keep a journal
One of the best ways to gain confidence in your running is the ability to look back at your progress over time. When you keep a log or journal (it doesn't have to be complicated or elaborate), it allows you to see just how strong you've become over time.
As we end yet another year and embark onto a new one, remember and remind yourself:
You. Are. A. Winner.
Happiness Is Running Life.