Regardless of how powerful your mind is, you can trick it to allow your body to go further.<...>
This is another one of those life lessons that I've learnt from running and one that I implement often.
I love running and I'm pretty fit (I can do a sub-55 10km), but I don't necessarily enjoy training every time I put my running shoes on.
Especially not when I'm training for half marathons where I know that I absolutely have to do a couple of 10km+ runs in preparation.
The simplest, little trick I've implemented though is to just run away from home as far as possible. That means that when I inevitably tire and decide to turn around for the return leg home, I'd double up on the distance I'd already done.
And crucially: there's no other way home. I have to run the distance home.
The reason this actually works, is two-fold:
- Sticking closer to home is sticking closer to comfort zones. When I'm only one kilometre from home, I know that I can turn around and be home within another kilometre. The further you move away from home, the more commitment it requires to get home.
- The homestretch is always the easiest. Whilst I'm naturally less tired on the first five kilometres, the five kilometres home feels mentally better and easier. It's because I know that there's the reward of rest at the end of that second 5km segment.
Ultimately I think this is about stretching yourself beyond your comfort zones.
Whenever you manage to trick your brain to do that, you'll reap the biggest rewards, because nothing that is worthwhile to pursue is ever easy to pursue.