I was reading the new book written by Deena Kastor, “Let Your Mind Run, a Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory.” In the introduction, she writes about being a gifted runner as a child. Then as a young adult when she decided to run professionally, she was surprised to find her new coach preaching about having a good attitude. She “considered herself a happy person.” She didn’t realize until she really examined her inner dialog during running, how many negative thoughts she had. She said that seeing that and working on it gave her a breakthrough.
I think we all have negative thoughts from time to time, but when you’re running (or walking or working out), take a real hard look at what your inner voice is saying. You night “hear” things like, “OMG this hurts, I can’t breathe, I’ll never run a full mile” or even worse “wow, look at that skinny girl running. She’s a “REAL” runner. I have no business out here. Who do I think I am.” If you do hear these negative thoughts, it’s time to work on turning it around. Write down the negative things you “said” to yourself on your run. Then write down what you can say to turn it around.
If you think OMG, I can’t breathe. Instead say to your self, I’m breathing and I haven’t fallen down yet! I can do this if I keep at it.
If you think, I don’t belong out here, I’m not a real runner. Say instead, “Wow, look how far I walked and ran today. I made some real progress.”
Changing your thought patterns will take time and work, just like running or losing weight. It won’t happen overnight, but it WILL happen if you just keep at it.