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Stop the Negative Self-Talk

Posted by George Parker on
Stop the Negative Self-Talk

Have you ever been racing or doing a hard workout when things start going poorly? Do you start saying mean things to yourself?

“You’re not good enough.” “You’re a bad runner.” “Just quit.”

This negative self talk is real and debilitating. When you listen, it’s horrible the mean things you can say to yourself. I have struggled with it over the years.

But you don’t have to accept it! There are techniques you can begin to quiet that negative voice.


Sometimes runners can be really mean to themselves. You could be in a race. Maybe it's not going as well as you wanted to, you're off pace, something happened, or you're doing a hard workout, and you're not quite hitting the paces that you should be that you believe you should be hitting. Or maybe it's a day you don't even feel like getting out the door. Runners can say the meanest things to themselves. 

For instance, earlier today, I was doing a hard interval workout. The paces were really tough. You get these negative thoughts in your head where your brain is telling you, "oh, you're not good. Your Fitness isn't where it's supposed to be, you're going too fast, you need to slow down, you're never going to be able to run this pace. What were you thinking! you should just stop."

Your mind can say the meanest things to you. It happens. It's really bad when it happens in race because it can ruin your whole race. I wish more people talked about it because I got to believe even the pros deal with this.

I want to share something that has helped me as I've worked through this. A while ago, I was introduced to just the idea of seated meditation. You learn to watch your thoughts. Headspace is the product app I started with. I'm using Calm as well. You could even use YouTube just to understand the practice. But the thing that you learn by doing something like that is that you start to become aware of your thoughts --- when your brain is thinking, and you realize that thoughts are separate from actions and from realities. If you learn to watch them, they come and they go.

Give it a try. I think you'll be surprised of how effective it can be in those moments when you're being really mean to yourself to help recognize the thought and then let it go and continue on what you're doing. It has helped me so much because I was really mean to myself. 

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