THE STRENGTH TO CARRY ON
STRENGTH works for both body and mind. To be at the top of your game a mix of both is desirable. Have you ever gone on a run when your head just wasn’t in it? Even after you dragged on your shoes, left your house and got the first kilometre under your belt, you still couldn’t get into the zone. It’s always easy at this point to give up and go home. But you don’t. You don’t give in. You keep at it and, eventually, you start to enjoy it. Eventually, you’re cruising.
From my own experience, it happens now and again that I have to push myself to go for a run. But I always stick with it and don’t give up even when I’m not in the mood. I know my mood will eventually change when I’m out running. I believe that it is important to push ourselves, even when we are not 100 per cent up for it, provided we are not sick, exhausted, hungry or thirsty. This builds up mental strength that can serve us well in life.
It takes both mental and physical strength to push towards the line when you are fatigued. You might be in a race and you’ve been alongside the same person for ages, so that it’s become a race between the two of you. You want to win; they want to win. You compete all the way to the line. Sometimes you’ll clinch it and sometimes you may not. Winning can be glorious because you competed and found the extra bit of energy you thought wasn’t there.
In both of these examples, in order to keep going, you engage your mental strength. These are simple and effective examples of how to build mental toughness. The more you call on mental strength and use it the stronger it will become.
From the book ‘ Outcome Running – 10 milestones towards a more positive and faster you’ by race organiser Eoin Ryan and available from www. eoinryancoaching.com
Maria Neilan and Tony Lyons presenting the Lions Club perpetual trophy to Declan McInerney’s team.