As the winter conditions begin to arrive, a hefty dose of mental resilience is needed to get wrapped up and out the door for training. Luckily, the biggest shift i‘ve experienced during my winter training block so far has been to my mindset.
By removing the pressures of time and distance or the unnecessary urges to push myself to the limit every run, I have found a new sense of mental freedom.
All of my attention has switched to becoming attuned to my heart rate zones. With this, I have been able to relax into my runs and become present in my environment. Winter training has given me an opportunity to appreciate what’s around me and maximise the pleasure in movement. I’ve strengthened the association with running and enjoyment, relaxation, mindfulness and ultimately, achieved
' the happiness mindset '
Now, this might seem like quite a big payoff from such a small change. I have to admit, I also wasn’t anticipating such a dramatic shift in my mindset.
Those pre-long run nerves and the anxious anticipation of my capability just doesn't seem to exist anymore.
I run and feel.
It’s a sweet simplicity, nothing else really matters.
A change in mindset has facilitated a greater commitment, and as I mentioned in my previous post, allowed time to run intuitively. Having a positive mindset around running is always a benefit, but particularly, I find, during the winter months.
It’s nice having a settled mind to encourage myself to get out the door and remind myself that running brings me so much more that just the activity.
Gaining control of mindset is often considered an elusive concept, the magic formula to reaching potential. Everyone wants to know how to do it, when you don't feel like doing it.
I won't pretend I'm an expert, the mind is a tricky labyrinth but I do think by simplifying my running, I have achieved a level of control I have never previously felt in exercise.
With mindset in mind, reducing the distractions and becoming more mindful throughout the chilly winter months, might just give you the boost you need to keep running.