Running is a tremendously physical activity that tests your every muscle, and it challenges, to no end, your cardiovascular endurance. If pushed hard and done right, you'll feel exhaustion like never before, but, afterward you'll experience a perfect euphoria that enlightens your life, relieves stress, and enhances your health.
However, as physical as it may be, there is a considerable mental side to the sport that often gets overlooked. And much like the actual run training, the psychological portion needs attention, and it requires you to give some of your focus to the mental approach involved in your workout.
So, to keep your running fresh and creative, try mixing in a day dedicated solely to your mental preparation. First, set out in a rather relaxing setting. Do not run in traffic or in a competitive pack, as the exterior distractions will disallow you from going inward and uncovering the self-awareness you need to make the workout successful.
Next, designate a given time or distance. This should not be a terribly short run; instead, make it one where you can find a true pace that is consistent and maintainable. You need time for your body to fall into sync with your mind, thus allowing your physical side to function effortlessly while you spend your energy on mental tactics.
Now, as you run, begin to concentrate. Attention spans vary from person to person, so permitting yourself to live in the moment, not focusing on future goals or numbers but rather keeping the present as your guide, will get you to a level of thinking not previously possible. If you cannot keep the concentration level high, try doing it in manageable chunks. Make adjustments mentally that will give you the best chance for success.
Once you have captured the concentration, focus in on your breathing. Keeping your breath consistent and in harmony with your foot falls can create a cadence that will generate a personal running rhythm. Smooth, effortless breathing will ease tension and make the experience of running long distances that much more satisfying.
In the end, dedicate time to your mind.