Readers’ Roundtable: Are You Competitive? If not, why not?

I had to delete Words With Friends from my phone.  My competitive nature didn’t allow me to go easy on anyone who wasn’t as formidable as I, and when I did find worthy opponents I would…well to put it mildly, I’d get shouty when I wasn’t winning. It’s pretty rare that a mid-30’s mid-packer like me will be vying for even the most humble award, so I don’t generally consider more » Read more

Make Both Performance and Process Goals to Achieve Running Success

This week I begin a 15 week training cycle for the Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes, to be held on June 14th, 2015 in Iowa. I happened to stumble across this marathon when doing a Google search for “spring marathons in Iowa.” Why Iowa? A good friend of mine lives there and I thought it would be nice to come visit and run somewhere new. This will be just the third more » Read more

The Champion Mindset

A few weeks ago, I ran the Canton Fall Classic 10K and ran as well as I’ve ever run in my life. Though my time was a significant PR, and I am proud of that, the biggest breakthrough was a mental one. You see, for the first time ever in a race I “went there.” You know that place, the impossible, painful, air-sucking, muscle-burning place of exhaustion. I went there, more » Read more

Quieting the Quakes: How to Deal with Pre-Race Anxiety

Recently I ran my fall goal race, the Cambridge Oktoberfest 5K, and I experienced a full-blown case of pre-race anxiety.  Starting about a week before the race, every time I thought about it I felt sweaty and sick to my stomach.  Though I always feel somewhat anxious in the days leading up to a race, this race lead-up was particularly bad because for the first time I was racing with more » Read more

Four Workouts to Help Build Mental Toughness

Of course it’s important for us runners to be physically strong, but anyone who has run an endurance race knows that there comes a point when your mind does the heavy lifting.  When your legs are tired and your body aches and your brain starts to give up, the key to saving a challenging race is what you do mentally to push through the pain and the rough spots. My more » Read more

When Easy’s Not Easy, Make Your Easy Runs More Fun!

Easy running can be boring and tedious. I want to go faster! I have things to do and sometimes running slowly makes me think of all that other stuff – laundry, grocery lists, figuring out what the smell is in the fridge…  And when I snap back to reality I tend to find that I’ve slowed to a near-crawl.  It’s always hard for me to keep a consistent speed, but when more » Read more

The Smart Runner Girl’s Guide to SMART Goals

All of the World Cup craziness lately has me thinking about goals. In soccer, it’s easy to see whether or not you’ve achieved your goal: your team wins, the crowd goes crazy (or in the case of the U.S. your team loses to Germany and the crowd still goes crazy), and the commentators infamously scream, “GOOAAAAL!” But how can runners achieve that same sense of pride if we don’t win more » Read more

How Visualizing the Achievement of Your Running Goals Might Set You up to Fail

We all know that one of the most valuable tools in our mental training arsenal is visualization, the mental exercise of picturing ourselves succeeding. Visualize pushing through those final miles to your PR marathon to nab that PR. Visualize that OTQ time on the finishing clock with your arms raised in triumph to nab that OTQ. Visualize the top spot on the podium if you want to win. If we more » Read more

When Training Slips, Watch the Self Talk

We all talk to ourselves; it’s human nature.  On both good days and bad, we coach ourselves along through life, celebrating victory, lamenting defeat and encouraging ourselves in-between. At least, that’s the idea, but very often those of us with competitive natures can be found to scold ourselves, disrupting the rhythm of encouragement with phrases like “I did it again.” “What’s wrong with me?” and “I could never do what more » Read more

Changing the Way You Think Isn’t Enough: You Have to Change What You Believe

I admit it: I love those lists of things successful people think or don’t think. As a competitive runner, I’m always looking to improve the little things to take my running to the next level, especially when it comes to my mental game. Anyway, I’m sure you know these lists I’m talking about. The latest one I noticed making the social media rounds is “Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things more » Read more

How To Get Through Hard Workouts Without Breaking Down

Something I’ve talked about before here on Salty Running are my track workouts and how much I enjoy them. But I’ve neglected to talk about something that has the ability to plague my tough workouts:  my tendency to have anxiety attacks. Recently both Cinnamon and Ginger battled anxiety attacks while racing their respective fall marathons, but anxiety can come at any time. For me, workouts are more stressful than races. My more » Read more

Overcoming Performance Anxiety: A Psychological Approach!

As you may have inferred from my previous posts, I’m pretty easy-going. Laid back. Chill. Yes, I follow a pretty rigid structure and have to do, like eating certain things before I run, but for the most part, especially when it comes to running, I’m very relaxed. Give me a split, I’ll hit it and I’ll help my teammates hit it. Not yesterday. Yesterday I showed the other side — more » Read more

Leaning in

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve at least heard of Facebook executive, Sheryl Sandberg and her book, Lean In. Sandberg wrote the book  to encourage women to pursue their ambitions, and to change the conversation from what we can’t do to what we can do. Sure, sexism exists. Whether we like it or not, men, in large part, still rule the world. However, using that as an excuse to abandon more » Read more

Avoiding the Running Comparison Trap

How many times have these thoughts crossed your mind? “I can’t run with her – she’s faster than me.” “I wish I could run in cute shorts like her! She is so much skinnier than me.” “We’ve done all the same workouts, why did she PR and I didn’t?” And sometimes we’re not putting ourselves down, but thinking things like “I’m better than her because I run full marathons, she more » Read more

IWBMATTKYT – Embrace the Pain

Lately, I’ve been focusing on cycling in an attempt to finally put my foot issues behind me. This past week I introduced myself to the world of sufferfest videos. The videos are for indoor cycling training and for the most part, the workout was, as titled, a sufferfest. Towards the end of the workout they flashed this acronym “IWBMATTKYT,” which stands for “I will beat my ass today to kick yours more » Read more