Tricks to Deal with Negative Thoughts During Races

Negative thoughts can occur at any point during a race. If you don’t control your mind, these thoughts can interfere with your performance. Do you know how to keep a positive attitude and give it your best?
Tricks to Deal with Negative Thoughts During Races

Last update: 06 September, 2019

The body reflects the mind. Therefore, if you want to succeed in running races, you must control your ideas and feelings. We’ll show you several options to avoid negative thoughts while running. Keep reading to boost your performance!

Running races are really beneficial for the body, not only for your physical health but also for your mental well-being. Therefore, to improve your running performance, it’s necessary to have control of solid thoughts that allow you to advance your goal.

How to avoid negative thoughts

When you run, you usually reach a point where you think you can no longer run, when in fact you’re able to continue. However, these negative thoughts make you stop. It’s time to end the negativity that invades your mind and prevents you from reaching your full potential.

Avoiding negative thoughts: don’t underestimate yourself

If you think in advance that you’re not good enough, you’re detracting yourself from your ability to run. If you’re constantly plagued by negative thoughts, how will you move forward when you have no confidence in your own potential?

In this way, if you have recurring negative thoughts such as, “I’m a slow runner, it’s not worth it.” Or, “I’ll never be able to run a longer distance”, then you must change those thoughts. Allow others to encourage and motivate you too, this will help you to advance more and more.

You must feel confident in yourself, and that doesn’t mean attributing the capability to do things that you may not yet be able to do. Feeling confident is being sure that you can achieve certain things.

Live in the moment and prevent negative thoughts

It may be scary to increase the difficulty in running races since it becomes a new challenge. As a result, it’s feasible that you begin to create hypothetical scenarios in which you could fail. Indeed, this may cause you not to reach your goals during the race.

running and keeping a positive attitude

Don’t let anxiety, fear, and uncertainty intervene and damage your performance. A good trick to avoid these negative thoughts is to focus on how you feel while running, living in the moment and not thinking about what will happen next. Live the race, do your best, don’t worry about what will happen next.

Admire, don’t compare

There will always be people who can run faster, longer and travel greater distances than you, and you should never compare yourself or feel bad. On the contrary, make these people an example to follow, take their virtues and make them your own.

There will always be someone better than you, so instead of letting negative feelings grow inside of you that’ll make you feel bad during a race, it’s best to look at those people as a symbol of what you want to achieve.

Give yourself encouragement

During a long race or even during short ones you can become tired, your muscles start to burn, your breathing is short and you feel as if you want to stop. When this moment comes, you have two options: think that you cannot stand it anymore and stop, or give yourself encouragement and unlock a new level of resistance. Of course, the second option is much better for achieving your goals.

There will be many factors that will make you want to stop. When these arise, your mind might play tricks on you to make you give up. However, it’s crucial that you give yourself support and encouragement. In this way, you’ll feel good knowing that you can achieve what at one time you thought you couldn’t.

Accept that there will be bad times

Not everything will be perfect. There will be days when you simply won’t have the same performance or motivation as usual. When you start feeling down at not being able to give it your all and you start having negative thoughts, remember you’re human! These kinds of things will always happen.

avoid negative thoughst while your run to give it your best

Also, consider the fact that running is better than anything else you might be doing, such as being stressed at work or doing house chores. In this sense, it becomes much easier to bring optimism to the surface.

Running has many benefits for the body, such as eliminating toxins, strengthening your muscles and increasing the blood flow. However, it also brings several positive aspects related to mental health, such as optimism, confidence, and happiness. Therefore, you should definitely try it out.

Don’t let negative thoughts enter your mind and keep you from the good things that this activity has to offer you. Applying these strategies will allow you to have excellent mental control and better performance during races.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Inoue, Y., Wegner, C. E., Jordan, J. S., & Funk, D. C. (2015). Relationships Between Self-Determined Motivation and Developmental Outcomes in Sport-Based Positive Youth Development. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology27(4), 371–383.

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.