Stop the negative self-talk and you will run faster. If you go into a workout or race while telling yourself it’s going to go poorly, the chances of it going well are slim. Now, I’m not saying that if you just flip this and have flowery self-talk that you will run faster. But there are so many runners that get intimidated by a workout and are anxious about it before it even starts. “I don’t think I can do this.” “I can’t believe my coach said I could run this workout because I know I can’t.” Stop it. If you have a coach, then you have someone who wants to see you succeed and therefore isn’t assigning anything you can’t do. That doesn’t mean that they won’t give you an assignment where you’ll have to run your best workout to date, but that’s what the journey of training is about – transcending a former self. So going into hard workouts, stop the negative self talk.
The most difficult place to stop the negative self talk is in a race when you’re starting to hurt, especially when you’re starting to hurt but you’re on pace to run a PR. It’s so easy to panic at this point and tell yourself that you won’t be able to maintain pace. And you definitely don’t have the confidence that you can accelerate in the final 400m of the race. Stop it. You don’t know what you can do, and if your training has been solid leading up to this race, then you owe it to yourself at this critical juncture to stay positive and deal with the discomfort. The discomfort will be gone when the race is over, but if you can run a personal record you’ll be glowing for days.
Negative self-talk has never helped a runner. Berating yourself never helps. If you can find a way to silence the critic in your mind then you have a much better shot at running well.