Mental Toughness sounds so cliché to me. Mental Toughness is something much deeper than the book you read about how to obtain it. If you type Mental Toughness in Google, you will see tons of strategies about how to become mentally tougher. But what can you really do?
First off, I just finished my 2nd 20 miler this week. Yahoo!!!! I’m starting to love the process. My weeks consist of running back to backs. That means twice a week I run long (16-30 miles) and then (10-20 miles) the next day. I’m doing CrossFit workouts 3-4 times a week and smaller runs throughout the week too. But the bulk of my training plan is running those “back to backs.” I can feel that I’m getting stronger. My day after the 20 miler, I don’t feel like I ran at all. The process is working. Now don’t get me wrong, my mental state is taking a beating out there for 3-4 hours right now. It takes a lot of “DON’T F***ING STOP!” “YOU ONLY HAVE 6 MILES LEFT!” There is a lot of coaching / yelling that happens on those trails. But I always seem to make it back to the start.
After finishing my last 20 miler, I thought to myself…. Now repeat that 4 more times! WHAT!!! 80 more miles to go. That’s what I would need to run my 100 mile Race. To me that would be the definition in Google if you typed in Mental Toughness. A picture of me beat down after 20 miles, putting my shoes back on, and running another 80 miles.
So how do I get there mentally?
Everyone has their process. Everyone is different. What I found that works is a lot of mental training. I watch tons of races on the internet. I watch the struggles and the victories of other racers. To visualize what they’re going through. I also, read books of examples of where Mental Toughness was needed, to help me realize what I’m going through is NOTHING compared to what they’ve been through. I’ll share some good books in another blog. The last thing I do is visualize the things that I can control vs. the things I can’t control. I start to think about the things that could go wrong. Then immediately think of how my crew can help me mitigate them. Then understand that things are going to happen outside my control and what I will do to get past them. Like getting lost for two hours on my last 50 mile Race. Having to back track and stay in the race mentally!
Hope this Blog provides one new thing you can do to work on Mental Toughness. If you want some more tips, or have any other insight email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.