Ways of distracting the mighty mind

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As an aspiring runner, it is always the motivation factor that keeping me going. I always think I am mentally strong to accept and face challenges. But running is a different ballgame altogether. As in any other group activity, people draw energy from one another and motivate one another. Hence, while running at the Nike Run Club, there is no dearth of motivation. But there are times when I don’t have company. One of the biggest problems when running alone is the boredom that creeps in. I still have the energy to do another couple of KM but feel like stopping. Like last week, when I started off planning for a 15K, I had all the enthusiasm but into the second KM, I wanted to stop. The music player in my phone complained of corrupt files and stopped. I had no inclination to continue. I was figuring out ways of keeping my mind busy and the idea for this blog post was born.

When I used to run on the treadmill, usually my goal was to run as much as the person next to me runs. If the person started running before me, I will try to do the same distance he/she does in a minute or two less. If the person starts running after me, I usually try to run as long as he runs. I remember an incident that occurred a while back in Fitness One. Another guy and me started running around the same time. We had completed around 22 minutes at a decent pace. I did not want to give up until the other guy stopped but I was unable to go any further. After another couple of minutes, I pressed the emergency stop button and stopped. The other guy also did the same almost around the same time. After he stopped, I told him that I was trying to run until he stopped, but could not and he said he also usually does the same thing and he was waiting for me to stop :-)

Another trick I do is to find someone who runs at a decent pace and try to maintain the same distance. A friend once said that, he clocks his runs by the number of songs that play in the gym. One song is normally 4 minutes, so on an average he does about 5 songs for 20 minutes.

My wife has just started cycling and her biggest challenges are the uphill paths. She pants and puffs her way through them. She says, when she sees an uphill, she diverts her mind by thinking philosophy or tries to recollect lyrics of songs she learnt as a child. Sometimes, she says, she also sings aloud or smiles or waves at strangers. This diverts her mind, and she gets through easily.

Unless you're not pushing yourself, you're not living to the fullest. You can't be afraid to fail, but unless you fail, you haven't pushed hard enough.
          -- Dean Karnazes

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This page contains a single entry by balaji published on October 25, 2009 11:25 PM.

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