How To Mentally Run Faster - Running Is My Passport

How To Mentally Run Faster

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Is running solely physical activity?

Or can you learn how to mentally run faster?

After all, endurance, training, strength, and performance commitment is what running is all about.

So how much of running is mental?

Believe it or not, there are arguments stating that running is 90% mental and only 10% physical.

How true is this?

Running Requires A Good State Of Mind

The expression “mind over matter” plays an important role in running.

While being in good shape is good, being in a great state of mind is better.

Apprehensions or not being confident about your performance can give you bad results even when you’re in perfect physical shape.

Our brain and our thoughts are the most powerful things we all have.

Taking advantage of our inherent mental prowess holds the key to accomplishing what we set out to do.

Believing you can do it is the ideal attitude every runner must have in all their runs.

This really enforces the mental aspect of running.

Natural High Brought On By Running

After running, don’t you feel like you own the world?

This feeling of euphoria is also known as a runner’s natural high.

The endorphins in the body work overtime to make way for this euphoric rush after a particularly good run.

Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that bring on happy thoughts when we are successful in doing something.

Running can release these endorphins, thereby making it a mental sport other than purely physical activity.

How Can You “Mentally” Improve Your Running

Thinking positive thoughts about your running can provide you with peak performance at any and all times.

Exercising the mind is as important as training the body.

Your state of mind can dictate whether you’ll be running good or bad, easy or hard, or slow and fast for the day.

Shifting the mind to positive gear is the best way to achieve your best performance in every run.


Whether you’re a novice or a veteran runner, visualization is a handy tool to have.

Visualizing your performance for the day has shown to boost energy, reduce stress, manage pain, and improve concentration on a run.

This applies to any distance of running.

How to mentally prepare for running a mile or 26.2 miles; it all the same mindset.

Here are some mental tips for running and guidelines to help you improve your performance:


Watching a video about the powerful and fluid form of Olympic runners is one way of encouraging you to imagine yourself doing the same.

Mirroring their form by implementing them in your daily workout eventually improves your running performance.


Let your imagination work for you by picturing a mental image of your running goals for the day.

Let go of feelings and emotions that tend to distract you from concentrating on the run.

Instead, turn your entire focus on your desired outcome for the run you’re about to do.

Practice Proper Breathing Techniques

Proper breathing techniques center your mind and body on the run.

Before you start on the run, feel the rise and fall of your stomach by laying a hand over it.

Imagine a balloon being filled as you inhale deeply.

Next, imagine the collapse of the balloon as you exhale.

Make sure you’re breathing from your diaphragm instead of your chest.

Do this several times until you feel centered on the run.

Maximize Your Senses

Mindfully hearing, feeling, and seeing heightens every running experience while keeping you focused as well.

Listening to music can often distract instead of remaining aware of your surroundings.

Staying aware of your environment and your running is the best way to improve your game mentally.

Visualize A Magnet

There are times, try as we might, that we become tired and want to quit.

Visualizing the finish line like a magnet that effortlessly pulls you will give you that extra spark of energy.

The magnet visual effect takes your mind off from the fatigue you’re feeling.

Practicing this technique regularly will eventually make every run fun and exciting.

Imagine Having Springs On Your Feet

Sometimes your legs feel like they’re full of lead and unable to run.

The technique to overcome this is to imagine your feet having springs on the bottom of them.

This means that you will be springing instead of sprinting as you run.

Visualization is a powerful tool to use to shake you out of the doldrums of running.

Break It Down Into Doable Chunks

At the start of a marathon, thinking about the 26.2 miles you have to run could be mind-boggling.

However, focusing on just 4-mile increments is feasible.

By mentally breaking the run into doable chunks gives you the motive to start the race and keep going.

The next step is to imagine doing 6 1/2 times.

Visualizing it this way is a smarter technique than thinking of running for 26 miles.

Pep Talk

A pep talk is a great tool used by coaches to encourage athletes to improve their performance.

Practice this by telling yourself that you are confident, strong, relaxed, and tall for the run ahead.

Practicing positive self-talk every time you feel a temporary dip in energy or confidence level will mentally help you to overcome them.

One Stride At A Time

One way to overwhelm your run is to think about the number of miles you have to do.

This is actually a pointless and negative attitude that makes you want to give up before you are ready to start.

Tricking your mind instead to concentrate on one stride at a time is the technique to finish the run smoothly.

Also, it’s better to focus on one-mile increments rather than the total number.

Both are great ways to fly through the seemingly daunting task of completing a long run.

Believe In Yourself

Always believing you can do it if you set your mind to it is the ultimate mental tool to use to conquer anything you set out to do.

Nothing can stand in your way if you completely believe in yourself.

Remember, you body will do whatever your mind tells it.


The brain is the undisputed king of the body. It alone can dictate things that your organs and muscles have to follow.

Running can be a daunting task when the brain is allowed to think so.

The best way to counter negative thoughts is to replace them with positive ones.

Running or any other form of physical activity can become tough and hard only if you allow yourself to think it is.

You must be mentally stronger than you physically feel.

Tricking your brain to make it go the extra mile with you is the smartest way to crush any obstacle that comes your way.