Quiet Your Overactive Mind to Run Fast

Running appears to be such an easy activity – just put one foot in front of the other. However, running can get complicated quickly. Many runners worry about breathing correctly, ensuring that their stride is the correct length, paying far too much attention to rival runners in road races, and allowing negative thoughts to creep into their heads when things start to go wrong.

Oftentimes, an overactive mind can be the biggest enemy to allowing the body to run fast. One solution is to quiet the mind by learning from one of the greatest golf teachers of all time: Harvey Pennick.

One of Mr. Pennick’s most famous pieces of advice for golfers is to quiet the mind before a swing and only have one thought: “taking dead aim” at a target. Before a shot, all negative thoughts must be shut out, and the golfer’s entire mind must be focused on one thing: hitting the ball at the target.

The mental clearing obtained from repeating the simple phrase “take dead aim” helps to relax the muscles and prevent over-thinking from sabotaging the swing.

Runners can learn a lesson from this advice. Instead of focusing on the different runners in a race, obsessing about running correct splits, and worrying about every negative thought, try quieting your overactive mind with one thought: “relaxed and focused.”

By repeating this phrase, or something similar, you will be able to reset your mind and prevent negative thoughts from tightening up your body. In your next workout or race, work on training not only your body but also quieting the mind and allowing your relaxed body to run faster than ever.


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