30 Minutes versus 30 Hours: Training my Mind

I officially started to run again last March 1. I have procrastinated too long on my training plan and have been on hiatus from a structured training program for so long. I regularly still do Crossfit and runs only when I feel like running. (or when I have overcome finding an excuse not to run!)

I reached the track at 6:30 am and I have to meet a friend for breakfast at 7:30am. That means, I only have 30 minutes to run. I started slow then tried to run faster. I haven’t even reached a kilometer when I started to think of quitting. Then I realized, I drove to the track. Mahal ng gas! After two kilometers, I went out and ran outside until I’m done with 30 minutes plus 5 minutes. It feels so great running again!

After Friday’s workout at Crossfit where we did 21-15-9 repetitions of Kettlebell swings, burpees over bar and push press, I decided to stay and watch the next class at 6:15. With enough time, I can still run a 5kilometer outside the box. Each round was a struggle. I would always think of cutting the run short and going inside the box every time I pass the guard house. I won though, I finished another five kilometer of run at about 5:45mpk pace.

I was struggling with my slow and short 30 minutes run. To those who have been reading my previous posts and to my friends, this really wouldn’t sound like a sharing coming from me.

30 Minutes is easy given my fitness level. As they say, it’s the mind which gives up first, not our physical body. I think I need to go back to the basics and train my mind again.

Here’s what I always do to keep myself focused when I run; whether it’s a speed workout, tempo run, long run, race or easy runs:

I always think positive and believe in myself

I always try to think positive before I start my run. On long runs, I always look around and try to take pictures in my mind of the places we pass by. This takes away the pain of running further. On speed workouts and races, I already have a feel if I could meet my goals or not as I start. Whenever I start with a positive feeling about meeting my goals, I nail it! Whenever I start with a negative feeling, it turns out crappy. In my case, I don’t proceed with the speed workout if I don’t feel good. If it’s a race, I either set my expectations lower or just declare a DNS and sleep. The key is to decide that you’ll do it and believe.

Set those goals and believe!

I imagine and fantasize

I always do this. On training runs, I imagine myself crossing the finish line and seeing the timer displaying my actual goal finish time of xxxx ;). It gives me a reason to push myself more. On a race (especially my goal race), I imagine the painful training days I have endured. If I nail a 3:40 for my Yasso which killed my legs then, why cann’t I do it this time. I imagine myself crossing the finish line. On easy runs and I am doing it by myself, I take advantage of the ‘me time’ and reflect on practically everything and anything in my life.

I pray

Running gives me more time to pray. On short speed intervals, I start with a short “Lord help me” and end with an “Oh my God, Thanks!”. On long runs, I treat it us my time to meditate. On my ultramarathon races, I feel like having one long prayer time. Sometimes, all I can utter is “Lord, help!” repeatedly. There are runs though where I am too focused in my run and do not really pray as I do run. I trust though that God is with me every time I run and that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.


I have to start training again. The road to BDM 160 beckons, from a 30 minute run to a 30 hour cut-off in January, I shall start to train my mind today.

Did I just declare I’ll really do it na?!

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