Running And Mental Concentration

Learn how completing a physical activity such as running can strengthen not only your physical abilities, but your mental toughness.

Contrary to popular belief, running is a sport that requires an immense amount of mental concentration.  When participating in a marathon or race, you need to calculate exactly how much energy you have left, and determine the pace that you will have to run at through the entire race.  Keeping up a steady level and dealing with the discomfort or pain, requires intense mental focus.  While other sports certainly require mental activity, running definitely requires having an especially strict mental control.

When you're in a race, keeping pace is the hardest factor.  In essence, your body gets weaker as you run more.  Most people will keep a constant level of pain throughout a race but this tends to create races where you start off fast and end slowly.  The best way to run is to keep a constant pace, increasing the pain threshold throughout the duration of your activity. 

Therefore, being a runner strengthens your mind.  Learning to deal with pain, especially the "good" kind of pain, is very important to all humans.  The "good" pain is when you are feeling a measurable amount of pain from working out for example.  Being sore, being tired, being stressed, because you choose to be; these are indicators of a strong mental hold. When you work out and do that extra pull-up, or that extra bench, pushing your body to the limit, you are conditioning not only your body, but also your mind.  Every time you run a race, you're not just helping yourself physically.  Next time you run, you'll have a better understanding of how much energy you have left, and how fast you can run at a constant pace. Segmenting is common in many popular sports  and helps strengthen one's mind and body, but running gives you the tools and the opportunity to create precise measurements of just how strong you are in both those areas.  This will help out with your daily life tremendously.  If you are able to force yourself to do something, especially if you don't want to; if you can force yourself to complete a task that is beneficial but hard. 

Think about the big picture, and work to create a specific image of yourself and all of your abilities.  Take those practices that you learn during physical exercise and apply them to other areas in your life that need strengthening.

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Scott Nelson
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Posted on Jan 10, 2013