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Jun 27, 2012

Body vs. Brain when running

3 miles on the schedule....done!  A nice cool run but the heat is on it's way back.


As many of you know, endurance running can many times be a function of the body vs. brain.  How many times have you been in a race or training run and doubts start going through your mind?  I've been there many times.  You know the drill:

You are at the last six mile stretch of the marathon, or the last three of a half or even after one mile of a 5k and you start reasoning with yourself:

- Jeez, I'm so tired!
- Ouch, my body is hurting.
- I'm not sure I trained hard enough.
- I can't go this fast.
- Who's idea was it to run this far?
- Didn't I just run a race two weeks ago?
- I'm not going to make my time so why keep running?
- I'm just going to take a short break.
- I'll just walk this hill and then start running.
- Why didn't I register for the 10k or half?

- I'm strong and I'm going to meet my goal.
- I will not quit.
- I've trained for this!
- I've been here before - keep going!
- I will succeed.
- Keep Running!!!!
- There is no hill here
- I will beat x:xx time
Sometimes, my body wins.  Sometimes, my brain wins.  In the end, I win overall because I'm out there doing something many people wouldn't even thing of doing.  Remember that as you are out there running on a daily basis - we are the minority.  Be proud of what you've accomplished and don't let your brain get in the way of exceeding your goals.  Your body can handle much more than your brain allows so make sure your brain doesn't get in the way.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. Wow, that picture is a great example of how your mind can slam you. When faced with tough hills and not feeling strong, I look only 3 feet in front of me, instead of the top of the hill, since I don't want my mind sending negative messages to my head. It's what got me throught those A2 marathon hills.

    1. So your solution is don't look up? Haha! I'm not sure about that.

  2. Really good this! I'm the same but sometimes it takes time before I realize it is my mind talking to me and not my body.

  3. I totally know what you mean. I recently saw a pin on Pinterest that says something like "your legs aren't giving out, your brain is" and I think that's so true for me so much of the time. I really struggle with that sometimes but I try to work through it. Like you, sometimes my brain wins. I love your new header, by the way!

  4. You need to train your brain as well as your body. All that running people do isn't just for their body, it lets your mind prepare. It can then tell you "I've done this before, lets go get 'em!". :)

  5. Such a gorgeous photo and inspirational post!! "Your body can handle much more than your brain allows so make sure your brain doesn't get in the way." <-- SO TRUE!! That is a constant work in progress for me:)