Sure, it takes moving your legs and using your lungs to run. But there's something that can help or hinder your running efforts even more than that. Many people focus on their body's strengths and weaknesses, but overlook this one very important tools. Running is largely mind over matter!
It's true. Your thoughts can either lead you toward success or failure. It can make your run seem harder than it really is, or it can help it to feel more enjoyable. It was Henry Ford who said "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." And that is largely true in life. Your attitude is going to help determine how well your run goes and how well your entire running program goes.
When I first started my running program in December 2015, I used to whine through the entire first mile. All runners know that the first mile is usually the most difficult. That's the mile that your body is getting warmed up, so you tend to be a little slower. After that first mile, the endorphins kick in and you start feeling pretty good. Your pace also starts to get better, and your beginning enjoying the run more. Well, I whined and groaned my way through the first mile each time. I hated the first mile!
One day, about 7 weeks into the program, it hit me that my first mile was harder, because I kept making it harder. I was making it harder with all the negative self talk. Every time I whined about the first mile being hard or saying that I hated it, I was reinforcing that negative thought in my mind. I'm typically an optimistic person and try to be positive, but I wasn't doing that with my running at all. I vowed right then and there to change it. I decided I would never again complain about that first mile.
You know what happened when I stopped complaining about running the first mile? It got easier! I kept my thoughts positive when I ran and I wouldn't complain about any of it. I reminded myself why I was doing it and that I loved having a running program. It worked and to this day I keep my thoughts about running positive. I enjoy my running, even the first mile, because I know that first mile is warming my body up and soon the feel good chemicals will flow from my brain.
Running is a lot of mind over matter. Think about that the next time you catch yourself thinking or saying you can't do it, it's too hard, or complaining about it. Focus on the positives and see how much better you appreciate your running effort and program!