reframingOver the eight weeks’ final build up to the London Marathon I am blogging some ideas you can use to stay on track and ensure your mind is as prepared for the race as your body is. This post, with three weeks to go, suggests you practice reframing some of those negative thoughts you’ve found creeping into your head when you have been running.

When you have a bad run you may start to notice negative thoughts sneaking into your head. We have thousands of thoughts each day and it is not surprising if some of those are negative ones. When we are struggling, our body hurts, we feel we don’t have much energy and we are not achieving the times we think we ought to these thoughts quickly turn negative and we start to beat ourselves up. Instead of trying to block these thoughts – something which is incredibly hard to do for a very long time (and most of our training at this stage of marathon preparation does mean we are out for a long time) – instead try to reframe those thoughts into more positive statements.

A way to do this is to write down the negative thought you find yourself having most often. And then, with that list in front of you, consider how you could change each phrase into something more positive. Perhaps from:

  • ‘I am too slow to be a runner’ to ‘I am running – that makes me a runner’.
  • ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘I am doing this’.
  • ‘It’s too far’ to ‘It is just a parkrun to go. I’ve run that dozens of times.’
  • ‘They are laughing at me’ to ‘I’ll have the last laugh – I’m getting fit and healthy.’

The more you practice reframing these thoughts the easy it becomes doing it when actually out running.

And if you are wondering if something is actually negative or if it is a valid point ask yourself one question:

Would I say this to a friend?

If you wouldn’t say it to a friend then you shouldn’t say it to yourself. And this Buzzfeed video (excuse the language used) brings this idea to life so well.