How to Trick Yourself into Running Faster and Further (without feeling it!)

03 Apr, 2023 | MNB TEAM


We've all had those runs, which feel like they go on forever! It turns out, what we think about on the treadmill or the trail matters... a lot!

We caught up with Amy Molloy to get the lowdown on her advice.

My relationship with running has taken many forms. When I was a reporter living in London, I’d run to work with my laptop instead of navigating the Underground every morning. In the winter, I’d run half marathons on a treadmill that didn’t have a telly (a unique kind of torture!). After moving to Australia, I fell in love with the coastal track from Bondi to Bronte. During my pregnancies, I jogged with my bump until the day before I went into labour.

What I’ve learnt from these running seasons—and a whole lot of therapy—is that the difference between a ‘good run’ and a ‘bad run’ is mindset. The experts agree: what we think about when we’re running matters. Not surprisingly, negative self-talk has a significant impact on performance. On the flip side, telling yourself “you can do this” makes it far more likely that you’ll keep on running.

But, it goes deeper than that. Whether you’re a weekend jogger, you’re training for a 10k’er or you just want to be able to run for the bus faster, follow these tips to go a little bit further … without feeling the burn!

1. Join the 'Secret' Club

How many of us have said the statement: ‘I’m not a runner…’ You might have even said it as you pull on your running shoes or step onto a treadmill. It’s a self-protection mechanism: you’re keeping expectations low, because you don’t want to disappoint yourself or other people. But, the truth is: if you’re running, you are a runner! Next time you head for a jog, try the label on for size (‘Look at me… I’m a runner’). It’s amazing how owning your own experience—and your new hobby—can boost your self-esteem and even your performance.

2. Embrace all Your Seasons

If you choose to make running part of your life, there will be times when you’re faster, times when you’re slower and times when you’re walking before you reach the first streetlamp. If you’re recovering from injury, you’re pregnant or you’re just not feeling it, what can you focus on instead of pace or distance? Choose a new route with a breath-taking view, go running with a friend or listen to your favourite podcast. Trust that you’re maintaining your fitness and also getting an endorphin boost, even if you’re not feeling your fastest.

3. Think like a Pro

Chat to any elite runner and you’ll be sure to hear two words: growth mindset. To put it simply, a growth mindset means you believe hard work and dedication will make you better at something (to a point). The opposite—a fixed mindset—is the belief you were born with a ‘fixed’ level of talent and can’t improve it. How can a growth mindset boost your daily jog? It’s all about trusting that your efforts will be rewarded. Don’t focus on where you are today; imagine where you could be in six months’ time. Stick this mantra to your bathroom mirror: everything is hard before it becomes easy!

We’d love to hear how you get revved up for a run! Connect with us on socials and share the mindset tricks, which help you find your running mojo.

Amy Molloy, is a journalist, self-help author, mindfulness coach and podcaster.

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