Framingham Personal Trainer

the running mind | sport psychology for runners, athletes, & others

sport psychology

Does controlling the running mind really make a difference in training or performance?

We've been fans of learning about psychology and mindset for as long as we can remember.

And, not just where it relates to athletes, but also to businesses, relationships, individual achievements, and the successes of teams.

Share your mindset questions, answers, and stories here.

Continuing to Learn

When we're not talking shop about fitness program design with other health professionals, immersed in our textbooks for our MBA program, or reading about sales, leadership, and organizational behavior, our thoughts and conversations often turn to mindset.

Whether our learning comes from books, videos, or conferences, one thing is certain; that we have invested so much time to learning about mental preparation, our successful application of it, for ourselves, and for the teams and individuals that we lead and support, has grown immensely.

This is true enough that some might find us to be unrealistically optimistic (though, with our analytical tendencies, a better description would be as realists).

Learning From Each Other

It is possible to learn from absolutely anyone, regardless of sport or activity, level of involvement or ability (recreational to competitive to professional), and even level of experience.

Being as observant as we are, YouTube is often a favorite medium through which we watch and learn.

As we've been following and inspired by the successes of the US Women's National Team for Soccer, we found the following conversation between Adrianna Franch and Emily Sonnett to be of interest:

We find it so fascinating and motivating that athletes of their caliber have such a powerful drive to seek opportunities for self-improvement.

We love learning about how people react when faced with any sort of adversity (if you're a runner who has ever experienced injury, you know the struggles!).

Emily's questions of herself, "What can I do now?" "What's going to make me happy?" and "What can I do every single day (to focus on the now and not only the big picture)?" are ones that we believe are important for all of us to keep top-of-mind.

That isn't to say that a list of questions alone is sufficient to solve all problems that arise. As much as an athlete (recreational or competitive), must engage in physical practice consistently, they must do the same when it comes to mental practice.

Also, Adrianna mentions how important it is to surround yourself with the right people (and to cute ties with those who may not be). Those decisions, and those actions, are not easy, either.

Courage, Confidence, Effort, and Attitude

effort and attitudeWork consistently on effort and attitude as part of conditioning those mindset muscles!

Each example above takes an element of courage or confidence.

Displaying each of those can take work, too.

It may not be in our nature to think confidently, or to act courageously, in every moment.

To be better able to "control" those traits, there are two key elements of focus; effort and attitude.

  • Effort - A vigorous or determined attempt. The result of an attempt. Strenuous physical or mental exertion.
  • Attitude - A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior.

It Is Okay To Feel Overwhelmed


It isn't unusual to feel overwhelmed by different stresses in life.

It's okay.

When you do, acknowledge that fact, and look to break things down to the smallest elements, thoughts, or actions that are within your control.

When we're feeling that way, we turn our thoughts to effort and action, and to the following quote:

"Great effort springs naturally from great attitude." - Pat Riley

More On The Running Mind & Psychology

Keep diving deeper with the following:

Fastest Marathon Time - With Eliud Kipchoge's having run a sub 2-hour marathon time, is that a physical feat alone? How much can be attributed to the power of positive mindset?

Mindset Definition - Explore motivated mindset vs combative mindset, and growth mindset vs fixed mindset. Do you know how to change your mindset? Or, is doing so an impossibility?

Running Preparation - Learn 5 running mindset tips that you can implement beginning immediately.

Quotes on Mindset - Read some of the best quotes on positive mindset. And, share your own favorite, inspirational quotes, as well!

Running Depression

running depression

The incidence of running depression is becoming more prevalent, and for a variety of reasons.

If you find that you may benefit from professional guidance and support, that is available, as well.

Share your own questions, thoughts, and stories about mindset using the form below.

Whether it relates to the running mind, tips and tricks for sports performance, the best mindset advice you've received, or other related topics, we're excited to hear from you, and to share with all of our readers!

Do You Have a Question or Story About Mindset or Sport Psychology? We'd Love to Hear It!

We've just touched on the tip of the iceberg where it relates to the subject of mindset in sports.

Where our site is interactive, we'd love to hear from you.

Share you questions and/or your stories. Whether you are a recreational or competitive runner or athlete, we'll all be able to continue learning!

Here are some examples of topics you might write about:

  • How I overcame my fear of trying something new.

  • What helped me the most in preparation for competition was_____.

  • Mindset for Team Sports vs Individual Sports.

  • Motivating Players from a Coach's Perspective.

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"Hard work is not punishment. Hard work is the price of admission for the opportunity to reach sustained excellence."
~ Jay Bilas