One of the things I am really working on this year is my mental game. Getting faster requires breaking that mental barrier.
I find I struggle most mentally when I am doing speedwork. Sometimes I haven't even started speedwork and I'm already psyching myself out.
Last nights speed workout called for 4 x 1 mile repeats at 7:50-7:55 pace. I had done 1/2 mile repeats two weeks before at that pace and it was hard.
Already doing my warm up, I was psyching myself out. "My legs feel stiff." "I am really tired."
You know the drill.
But this time, I decided to do something different. You know when you hit ice when driving they say to steer into the slide? Okay, I haven't really driven in 10 years, but I feel like I remember that saying.
Anyway, that's what I decided to do on my repeats yesterday. I slide into the negative thoughts (just a little, I didn't give myself an out for the workout completely). I gave myself a little leeway during the first one. I told myself just to do my best and then I could go from there.
The first one was a little tough, but because I had no pressure on myself for that first one, I loosened up quickly. And my pace picked up. In the end, I was able to finish the first mile at 7:54.
From there, the remaining three weren't as mentally challenging. I knew I could do it, even when originally it had seemed impossible.
I completed my remaining three mile repeats at 7:53. 7:51 and 7:46, getting faster with each one.
I am not sure if I will use this way of thinking all the time, but if it helped me with this speed workout, that works for me!
What do you do to get over the mental hurdle?