Think you can't do it? Yes you can! And you've got to convince yourself of that too.
Try these mind tricks from sports psychologist and coach Arlene Egan.
1. Set mini challenges: write them down and cross them off. Your goal might be to jog non-stop for a minute with the instant reward of then permitting yourself to listen to a favourite track on your iPod.
2. Focus on one aspect of your performance: it can get monotonous counting trees, minutes or miles when you're on a training run. Concentrate instead on taking longer strides, think about engaging your core as you run, or how you're pumping your arms to help drive you forward. 'Improve your running' tips
3. Beat 'halfway there' boredom: at the start of your training program, the novelty keeps you going; at the end you've got the motivation of seeing your goal in sight. It's in the middle you can start to lose enthusiasm. This is when you need to reflect on the sacrifices you've made to get this far so you won't be tempted to throw all that effort away. Keep your training on track
4. Rope in your mates: if you haven't got a training partner, organise your run so it ends at a friend's house where you can enjoy a coffee and a chat. Make sure you have people around you who understand what you're doing and can support you on your down days.
5. Distract yourself: music's great to work out to, but audio books or podcasts are brilliant way of taking your mind off the pain or tedium of a long training session.
6. Keep a fitness diary or blog: note how far or long you exercised for and how you felt both before and afterwards. It will remind you how good you felt for making the effort to get out there and work on your fitness, also how you weren't always in the mood for a workout but overcame your lack of enthusiasm. Look back over it on days when you're lacking motivation. Start a Zest reader blog
7. Think positive: striving towards a goal ('I need to energise myself with a run') is a much more powerful driver than using negative reasons to exercise ('My jeans are too tight'). 3 steps to achieving your goals
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