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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > January 2019 > ALL IN THE MIND

ALL IN THE MIND

INCREASINGLY, OUR RUNNING CHAMPIONS ARE PUTTING THEIR VICTORIES DOWN TO TRAINING WHAT’S ABOVE THEIR NECKS AS WELL AS BELOW THEM. SO IS MENTAL STRENGTH REALLY THE SECRET TO THEIR SUCCESS?

A s a famous Mancunian pop star once mused, “Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?”

It’s a good question, although we’re pretty sure Morrissey (for it was he) wasn’t referring to the last six miles of a marathon. You’d have to ask his erstwhile guitar slinger Johnny Marr for an informed answer to that as the six-stringed genius completed the NYC marathon in a respectable 3:54:18. But we digress.

The relationship between grey matter and the thing that carries it around has been at the centre of sporting performance since time immemorial.

And when it comes to running, even with talent and physical ability, if your mental toughness is lacking then your potential will definitely be limited. “All runners will have had a day where they felt fast, strong and mentally tough,” says Andy Lane, a professor of sports psychology, “but they will just as likely have had more runs where every step was difficult, they questioned what they were doing, and negative thoughts and feelings accompanied every step.

“My job as a sports psychologist is to develop a plan to make a positive state of mind highly likely.

From that positive mindset, the best performance possible will follow.”

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About Men's Running

Search the Internet and there are a million and one quotes about running. But none ring truer than the great Juma Ikangaa, winner of the 1989 New York Marathon, who said: “ e will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” As runners, we know the importance of training. And yet very few of us ever get it right. Too much here, too little there, not quick enough, not slow enough, not enough hills, too many hills – the list is endless. And confusing. At Men’s Running, we’ve always focused on bringing you great training advice from people who really know what they’re talking about. Whether it’s preparing for a marathon, sharpening up over 5K or adding variety in to your programme, we’ve brought you the best advice from some of the best coaches. So we thought what better way to celebrate than creating this unique training special, packed full of hints, tips, advice and motivation to take your running to the next level – whatever that might be. We hope there’s something here for everybody. And remember, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. We’re not quite sure who said that, but somehow it seems like good advice!