mental tips

When I started running, I soon thought I was ticking huge distances. I felt I had been walking for at least half an hour, I had really landed on the other side of the neighborhood, I got tired and my legs hurt. But when I glanced at the app, it was still disappointing in terms of distance. Waaaat ?? Only 1 km? That was not possible, the app was wrong, it had to be at least 3.

Not really great for the motivation, I can say, because how in the hell did I have to extend the walking distance without knocking out and meanwhile enjoying some fun?

Mission impossible? No.

Running is for a large part also a mental thingy. Certainly it can be extremely unpleasant physically, I can tell from experience, but if it is right, it can be overcome. So whatever your running goal is or will be; you will succeed with a healthy dose of perseverance and mental resilience. I have some mental tips and tricks that I use while walking and that give me guidance. I like to share them with you and I hope that they will also help you not to give up when you are having a hard time.


Divide the distance.


Whether you want to walk 800 meters or 42 km; chop the distance into pieces. 4 x 200 meters sounds and feels much less heavy. After the first 2 sets you are already halfway. Stopping is then no longer an option.

Bad days are part of it

No, it doesn’t always go well. Yes, it feels annoying and heavy. That’s life. So don’t worry if it doesn’t go the way you want. Accept that you sometimes have a lesser day and that it is okay. Better luck next time.

Consider the result

Okay, you have a goal. Great, then you are training for that. So when you are on the road, sweating, sweating and panting, you get better and stronger. Always one step closer to your goal. Whatever you just get through your own efforts. If you don’t get self-confidence and satisfaction from that ..

Focus on something else

Make a shopping list, have a difficult conversation with your boss in your head, count the number of Shetland ponies in the meadow, avoid the slugs in your path, but don’t think about walking for a moment. Before you know it you are a whole lot further and you have never thought of giving up.


This can greatly help you to keep walking. Choose one that suits you and the rhythm of your steps. The moment it doesn’t go well anymore and you get it heavy you repeat it again and again. It gives positivity and therefore you really will not stop. If you find it difficult to choose a suitable one. There are plenty of inspiration on the Internet.


Pretend you’re almost at the finish line at a competition where there is a huge crowd on the side, which encourages you or walk along with the world champion in mind. Even though you actually walk alone and through the polder, you can pull it through during the difficult moments. Before you know it you are done with your training.


Even though it doesn’t always go well, you still do it nicely. You run fast while a large part of the population hangs on the couch to play Netflix. You may, correction, MUST be proud of that. You can say that to yourself while running.

From point to point

When you are almost done with your training, tired and actually want to stop, the last few meters can be a bit too much. 300 meters can still sound very far. Go run from point to point. That tree, that pole, up to the bridge. You will find that it is still possible to do that and you have saved it nicely.

Good luck!

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