Mental walls

So I've been doing the 5k plus stamina podcasts for the last month it so and I've just setup a loose program to reach 10k by increasing my distance by 3min each time I run beyond 30 min . I've only just begun and feel like I'm hitting a wall already. I was up to 36min and though my pace feels decent (usually somewhere between 5:53 and 5:55), i tried to get to 39 min today and could barely get through 32 min! I think its mostly in my head. Could have been a tough day to try it as we just got back from a short holiday. I'm not sure. Any advice on slipping by these mental walls as you move up in distance? I will keep at it though.

19 Replies

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  • Running fast is very hard

    You have to go further to get stronger building running legs takes time. It's early days so Be patient. Keep plugging away 💪

    Do your cross training too. It will come but there are no short cuts. I don't go a bundle on this mind stuff. It's overrated. I just run 🏃‍♀️😀

  • Thanks for the good advice misswobble. That makes good sense. I will focus on getting stronger before expecting too much. I am too impatient by nature!

  • The journey to longer runs and stronger legs and core is interesting, filled with ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments. Like life I suppose 🙂

    Well worth the effort though 👍🙂

  • Its been more than worth the effort so far so I an looking forward to it 😀 Thank you!

  • I think a basic rule of thumb when increasing your distance is to ease off your pace, sometimes easier said that done! Once that stamina has increased you will find your pace increases too but for now, I would slow up a little and see how different it feels. Good luck!😀

  • Thank you Sandra. Yes it's clear to me now that I have to develop a slower pace for the longer distances. I'm very new to longer running but lol it should have been obvious! 😀

  • You are super-speedy, so perhaps slow down a little as you increase your distance? Also, don't focus on the time. Work out a route that should take you the distance or the time you are looking for, and then just run the route. You can play the 'just to the next lamp post/road junction' game.

  • Thank for the reply Annie. Yes I'm getting that message from all the replies :) I guess I need to slow down. I'm not trying to go fast. Its just the pace I've always run at so I need to concentrate on slowing. It feels weird, but I will try! Yes that time game is tripping me up too. I'll try changing up the route instead.

  • You're running too fast. Try running much slower. It builds your stamina and strength. Running fast is very draining and we can usually do it for a much shorter time, as you've found.

    Also, mix up your running. Hills, intervals, etc and cross train so your body can support your runnng. Cycling, swimming, weights, rowing, walking, anything that keeps you moving.

    You sound very driven, which is great but don't forget to enjoy the runs too 🤗

  • Thank you for this good advice Irishprincess. Yes I think I am running too fast. I really have to concentrate on slowing down as my natural pace seems to be the problem. I don't do any cross-training either so I will look into that too. I do really enjoy the runs still though!

  • Hi Decker,

    just want to say its true, that once I stopped being aware of time and just ran my route it made a huge difference to my run. I am slow I know but getting to 5k after trying for so long happened when I had no-one (Laura or Sammi) telling me the timings.😊

    Happy running.x

  • Thank you Jan. Yes I think I'll try leaving the timers at home for awhile and see what happens!

  • Still record my run on Strava just don't have any prompts or look at it until I finish...😊

  • Yes thats like my fitbit. I just need to remember to turn it on and off😁

  • In order to get rid of mental walls you need motivation. And your motivation is to be able to run long and fast, and you’ve got that will so there, we’ve got rid of mental walls in the first sentence :)

    However, my experience is that the longer I want to go the slower the tempo will have to be. As a result the stamina will improve, your breathing will be more regular, you will feel better (I can go on) and if you are music fan like me and hit the right notes in the cans then there’s no end to your fun.

    So, slow and steady, once you’ve got the resistance and strength built up then see if you want to experiment with speed but please don’t rush because that very same desire despatched me to a physio in the fast.

    All the best!

  • This logical progression I can relate to! Yes I will work to slow down. It feels like walking fast but I will force myself😀. And yes I love my tunes so I will throw some music on and just slowly run without checking any clocks. And, like so many others here say, just enjoy the ride! Thanks for your reply. So many people taking the time for these thoughtful replies is very much appreciated. This really is a great community.

  • I think our old friend 'sustainable pace' is the key here. You are running very fast! How about aiming for something like 7 minute per km (which would still give you a very decent 10km time) and then speed up when you have the distance nailed :)

  • Thanks Helen. I just need to work out the right bpm music to produce 7min per km now! I grabbed some 140 and 150 bpm tunes yesterday. I think I was running to 160 or so earlier.

  • 3 min increase each time you run is a lot. 10% every run will be hard to sustain and you could end up on the IC, the rule is never to increase your mileage by more than 10% per week, that is a general rule though so your mileage may vary (bad pun intended).

    I'd suggest lowering your pace and increasing weekly, for the second half of the run do some slightly faster intervals so you build pace and distance in a sustainable way.

    ...just my two penneth. Good Luck.

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