After over 20 years of training and coaching, the hardest thing about running isn’t the running itself. It’s how you think about running.
Do you think that you have to do a workout? Or do you think that you get to do a workout?
Are you frustrated when your alarm goes off to run? Or are you excited about another opportunity to get closer to your goals?
Do you dread your upcoming long run? Or do you feel privileged to be able to test your limits?
These questions might make you uncomfortable because you may find yourself answering yes to the wrong question! I know I’m not always excited to run and I know that I’m not alone…
Our mental relationship with running defines our experiences. By focusing more on mental training, we can:
- Boost our confidence before our key races so we believe in our abilities
- Reduce anxiety and pre-race jitters so we can focus on the right things
- Build intrinsic motivation so we’re running for the right reasons
These mental skills are harder to develop than endurance, running economy, or a high VO² Max. They take years and diligent practice to fully master.
That means there’s no better time to start building your toolbox of psychological skills than today.
To help us think more clearly about our mental skillset, I’d like to introduce you to Matt Pendola.
Matt Pendola: How to Create Lasting Motivation to Run
Matt Pendola is a polymath and exactly the type of person I love bringing on the podcast. His diverse background includes success in not just coaching, but his education and his athletic career.
Athletically, he’s posted quite a few major accomplishments:
- He Won the Elite Spartan World Championships Masters Division (2015)
- Age group runner up Duathlon Nationals (2015)
- Qualified for Duathlon World Championships 3x
- 4th Overall at the Northface Trail Championships and 3rd in his division (2014)
He’s also a Road Runner Club of America certified running coach, massage therapist, creator of Pendola Training, and has a host of continuing education certifications in strength training, performance, and even Jack Daniels’ coaching program.
In this interview, Matt and I are discussing the mental factors that contribute to our success in running. Because after you get your training right, the next big avenue for improvement is mastering your mindset and improving your confidence, drive to train, willingness to suffer, and finding the intrinsic motivation to always run consistently.
BTW, I haven’t explored this topic on Strength Running at length. We have programs for injury prevention, strength training, dialing in your nutrition and fueling, coaching, and for beginner runners. But not for fine-tuning our mental fitness.
So if you have any questions, or suggestions, or ideas that you’d love for me to cover, find me on Instagram and send me a message (my direct messages are always open and I want to hear from you).
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Thank you SteadyMD for sponsoring this episode of the podcast! Learn more about their medical services for runners and how you can benefit from a physician who understands runners.