Mental Performance Training for Runners

Mental performance training, also known as cognitive enhancement therapy, is a type of therapy that is designed to improve cognitive function and mental performance. This type of therapy is often used by athletes, including runners, who are looking to improve their mental skills and maintain their peak mental performance.  One of the key benefits of mental performance training for runners is that it can help improve focus, concentration, and decision-making during training and races. By improving these cognitive skills, runners can better cope with the physical and mental demands of their sport, ultimately enhancing their performance.

Mental performance training works particularly well for runners because it targets the psychological aspects that are crucial for success in the sport. Running often involves pushing one’s physical and mental limits, requiring a strong mindset to overcome challenges such as mental fatigue, race-day anxiety, and self-doubt. Mental performance training equips runners with tools and strategies to maintain focus, manage anxiety, and stay motivated during training and competitions. Furthermore, techniques such as visualization, goal-setting, and positive self-talk can help runners build mental resilience, allowing them to better handle setbacks, adapt to varying race conditions, and maintain a growth mindset . Ultimately, mental performance training enhances a runner’s mental fortitude, leading to improved performance and a more enjoyable running experience.

Another advantage of mental performance training for runners is that it can help prevent mental fatigue and burnout. Runners often face mental challenges during long training runs or races, and mental performance training can help them develop mental resilience and coping skills, enabling them to overcome these obstacles and maintain peak performance.

Incorporating mental performance training into your running routine is also a great way to maintain overall mental health and wellbeing. This type of therapy can help runners manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, ultimately improving their overall wellbeing and quality of life.

If you are interested in incorporating mental performance training into your running routine, here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Research sports therapists or mental performance coaches who specialize in working with athletes and runners. You can start by checking local listings or asking for recommendations from fellow runners or coaches.
  2. When selecting a therapist, consider their credentials, experience, and any client testimonials or reviews. Look for a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) or a therapist with a background in sports psychology
  3. Discuss your running goals and expectations with your therapist, and develop a personalized plan that is tailored to your needs.
  4. Attend regular sessions with your therapist and be open and honest about your progress and any challenges you may be facing.
  5. Practice the mental skills and techniques that you learn in therapy, such as visualization, goal-setting, and deep breathing, during your daily runs and races .
  6. Be patient and consistent with your therapy, and be willing to adjust your plan as needed.

In conclusion, mental performance training is a valuable form of therapy for runners who are looking to improve their cognitive skills and maintain their peak mental performance. By incorporating this type of therapy into your running routine, you can improve your focus, concentration, and decision-making, prevent mental fatigue and burnout, and maintain overall mental health and wellbeing.

Takeaways:

  • Mental performance training can help improve cognitive function and mental performance in runners.
  • It can prevent mental fatigue and burnout, and improve overall mental health and wellbeing.
  • Research sports therapists or mental performance coaches who specialize in working with runners.
  • Consider credentials, experience, and client testimonials when selecting a therapist.
  • Attend regular sessions and practice the skills and techniques you learn in therapy during your runs.
  • Be patient and consistent with your therapy, and be willing to adjust your plan as needed.

Brant Stachel is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about him or to work with him, check out his coach profile.