Motivation Comments Off on How to reach the next level in Running |

How to reach the next level in Running

Your mind can ensure that you get through your most gruelling runs and workouts, and help you reach the next level, says Nandini Reddy

Strong legs and a solid body are not the only requirements to be a good runner. Every sport requires a strong mind and overcoming a mental challenge can be tougher than physical challenges at times. You mind is the one that will decide if your push harder or give up. That extra set of push-ups and extra km of running happens not because you body is energetic but because your mind refuses to give up.

If you don’t want to throw in the towel, then you need to train your mind with a few tried and tested techniques to reach peak performance.

Visualize

If you know you are about to tackle a tough course or workout then first sit down and visualize the course. Understand the hard parts and imagine yourself pushing through the course. Imagine getting tired and being rejuvenated. You need to get your mind to believe that you are now comfortable while tackling the uncomfortable task. You can coach your mind to deal with discomforts and forget about elements that you cannot control. For example, if the weather changes its not under you control but your attitude to the run despite the weather can be regulated by your mind.

Rewire

Running with intensity isn’t a pleasurable experience. You heart rate is elevated; your lungs are protesting, and your muscles are screaming. When this happens your mind automatically asks you to stop. You start to feel like you are not in shape or don’t have the strength or endurance to take on this challenge. But you can rewire your mind to assess this experience differently. You can drive away the unpleasant thoughts by thinking about the finish line, strengthening your legs and building your stamina.

Feedback

Feedback is an incredible motivation tool that your mind needs, to improve. For one you do not need to look at your GPS watch or attach headphones to your phone that is tracking your run progress. The feedback should come from you mind when you congratulate yourself for crossing check points and remembering to hydrate. Listening to music instead is a great way to relax your mind. Mark off points that you had visualized before the race and mentally pat yourself on your back for your progress.

Divide

Mentally divide and mark the course in your mind. Focus on reaching each mark point instead of aiming straight for the finish line. Mini goals are easier to achieve. You will cross the finish line if you can count your small victories instead of focussing only on crossing the final timing mat.

Memory

If your enthusiasm is flagging mid-run the you need to first recall your previous wins. You have done this before and this is another run like the others is a good thought process to follow instead of telling yourself that you want a break. Tackle steep hills and difficult trails one step at a time. If you have a positive affirmation, even one as simple as ‘I can do this’, repeating it to yourself would be a great way mentally boost your passion.

Mental training techniques can improve your running performance and your ability to tackle tough workouts in a more nuanced way than must focusing on the finish line.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Gear Comments Off on 7 Free Apps for the Avid Runner |

7 Free Apps for the Avid Runner

Here is the low down on the digital helpers who ask for no financial investment, yet give you everything you need to enjoy your run, by Radhika Meganathan

Running Apps are a dime a dozen but if you want to seriously map your progress then it is vital that you choose the right app for yourself. Here is a selection of tried and tested apps used popularly by amateur and seasoned runners to track their runners.

  1. Nike+ RUN

https://www.nike.com/in/en_gb/c/nike-plus/running-app-gps

Nike+ does more than a basic app that tracks distance, routes and pace. It also helps you share your runs, add photos, and establish Nike+ Challenges against friends. Latest features include personalised coaching plans based on clocked miles, and a new leaderboard that helps you compete against other Nike+ runners.

Best for: Runners who need a comprehensive, one-stop running app 

  1. Sports Tracker

http://www.sports-tracker.com

Sports Tracker is not just a fitness app but is also equipped to support running, cycling, walking, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or other sports. For runners, this tracker helps you to set weekly goals, compare previous progress date with current stats and has a diary mode through which you can keep track of your training hours, heart rate or speed.

Best for: Runners who also indulge in other sports and want to track their diet

  1. MapMyRun

When you like to run alternating between well-worn and unexplored routes, you need a reliable app that gives you right, accurate results. Using this app, you can map your routes, save favourites and benefit from new route recommendations. The routes that you’ve already mapped will sync up to your smartphone, if you are currently training for a marathon, check out the MapMyRun Trainer app which helps users find training plans for races of distances between 5K and a 50K.

Best for: Runners who want to discover new routes

  1. Couch to 5k

http://www.c25kfree.com

There are many versions of this legendary training program for beginner runners, and for a good reason – it’s such a simple yet effective plan to get you from sedentary to marathon that most amateurs prefer starting from here. The app gives you pre-planned schedules with all the walks and runs you need to train yourself to breaking that a 5km threshold.

Best for: Newbie runners and couch potatoes

  1. RockMyRun

http://www.rockmyrun.com

Let’s admit, music is a god-sent gift for runners! RockMyRun is a music app that works with the world’s best DJs to create mixes and playlists that react to your body.  You can track your workout as you listen to the best music for your pace, rhythm and mood.

Best for: Runners who love to pace their runs with music

     6.  Treadmill Trails

http://www.treadmilltrails.com

So you don’t run outside. That’s no reason to miss out on beautiful scenery! Thanks to this app which has 22 great trail videos, with two new ones added every month, you can now feast on terrific trail scenery while pounding the treadmill. The videos are made with a Steadicam for a smooth run, walk or ride and their narration and soundtracks eliminate the need for separate music.

Best for: Indoor runners who miss the scenery

  1. bSafe

https://getbsafe.com

Safety comes first, especially when you are an adventurous runner who likes discovering new routes. In emergency situations, this app enables you to you to signal for help without delay. It has a one-button set up that, when clicked, turns your phone into a siren, alerting authorities. It also records video of your current situation and informs your contacts of your GPS location.

Best for: Anybody who wants to be prepared for emergencies while indulging in their passion

So which app is your favourite?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

A published author and an avid rambler, Radhika Meganathan is a recent keto convert who may or may not be having a complicated relationship with bacon and butter.

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