Three Tip Tuesday – Mind Games While Running Plus Favorite Songs


Three Tip Tuesdays can be overwhelming for me. It’s never about coming up with the ideas because I always have something to say.

My problem becomes having the time to not only develop the ideas into words for posts but choosing the topics I feel passionate about at the moment.

I know I have said this before but I rarely plan posts in advance. I like to feel and be real each morning and I just can’t pre-write real.

I can have an idea and work on developing it ahead of time but sometimes I wake up and want to talk about something totally different.

Anyway, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about today. But the whole off from school thing that went on yesterday combined with taking the boys to the Islanders game didn’t give me much time to develop today’s post to the point where I could fully finish it up now and like it enough to hit “publish” this morning.

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But at least the Islanders won, right? They are playing pretty well these days.

Instead of getting upset and instead of choosing to not post at all today, it suddenly dawned on me that I did have something else I felt like discussing with you today and my other post can wait until tomorrow.

Although I don’t want to think about tomorrow just yet – we have a snowstorm looming for later today into tomorrow meaning cabin fever (and no school) on the horizon.

I am glad I was able to squeeze in a six mile run outdoors yesterday morning because it is sounding like I won’t be seeing another outdoor run for a while.

If I want to be totally honest here, I think the switching between indoor and outdoor running is taking a toll on me. Theoretically I despise the treadmill  but running outside in the winter air, like I did yesterday, is becoming tiring and tough in a whole other way.

I felt great yesterday but found myself a bit taken by the cold air. It is hard on the lungs and tires me out much faster.

And sometimes as good as you feel, you suddenly bail out mentally or realize you are fatigued and wonder if you are going to make it.

I know that saying I squeezed in six miles makes those six seem like nothing for me to run but every run is something.

Even the “easy” runs require you to show up with some effort.

While I struggled a bit mentally yesterday, I realized there are a few things I involuntarily have come to do that help my mind and body to work together in order to not give up:



Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? Just when I want to slow down, just when it’s all starting to get to me, rather than slow down, I quickly make the decision to speed up.

I find that the slower I go, the harder it is to pick up the pace again.

Instead, a quick little burst of speed not only accomplishes the miles in a faster fashion, speed work helps your legs, muscles and mind adapt to running faster.

And, once you adapt to running a bit faster, the next time you speed up your legs tell your brain they remember the pace and can handle it without as much effort on your part.

2. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR ONE MINUTE – I have mentioned this little phrase before.

My spin instructor used to shout this phrase to get us through the speed intervals on the bike and I absolutely shout this phrase to myself whenever my mind starts taking over and/or when I am trying to keep up with my pace.


Yes, I know the time feels like it doesn’t move on the treadmill – that’s why I focus on distance on that blasted machine instead.

A minute can totally feel like eternity but when you really think about it or even convert it to only 60 seconds, it isn’t so bad.

You really can do anything for one minute, so why not try? Often times, once I pick up that pace, I am able to continue it well beyond a minute.

Maybe set your sights on a landmark, a target in the near (or far) distance and make it your goal.

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I realize I have used my running path picture twice already this week but I have a point here, trust me.

See the lamp post on the right? My path is lined with them and I use them not for light but as my markers for speeding up and slowing down.  I sometimes tell myself to speed up the length of one lamp post, sometimes two, three…you get the idea.

Just setting a goal in your head while you are running will keep you focused and distracted enough that you are tricked into being motivated to continue.

It’s all about playing head games with yourself, telling yourself whatever you have to in order to make things seem easier, quicker and not so bad.

When I am out for a long run, if I start to get tired as I realize I have let’s say three miles left, I convert those remaining three miles to minutes and say,  “Hey, you only have about 25 minutes left to run – you can do that!”

25 minutes may sound like a lot to you but when you have been running for well over an hour, hearing less than 30 minutes left to run sounds more pleasant than a number of miles. Make sense?


I love to drift off into my own thoughts but sometimes I don’t want to think. Sometimes the mental part takes a toll on my run and slows me down. Sometimes my brain doesn’t want to keep running or it starts doing a terrible thing like calculating how many miles are left and I want no part of such negativity.

I always have the volume up but I save a few decibels for those times when I need to kick it into high gear.

Turning up the volume on the music helps to drown out your own head and pump you up to get back into the running groove.

My tune of choice these days?


Gotta love Brittany.

I bet you one dozen chocolate chip cookies this song will empower you. Put it on repeat if you have to. It is a guaranteed pick-me-up and speed-inspiring tune.

And since I am feeling all Three Tip Tuesday-ish today, here are my top three favorite running songs at the moment in addition to Work B*tch:

1. Hush Hush by Pussy Cat Dolls


2. Titanium by David Guetta


3. Gives You Hell by All American Rejects

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Some times I pay attention to the words and sometimes it is about the beat. These songs right here are totally about both.

Now all I need are some mental tips and tricks for dealing with a relentless winter and the cabin fever associated with being trapped home with a 10-year-old.

I guess I can always put him to work with the shovel and pay him with the cookies I may bake.

Snowstorms mean baking, right?



How do you handle mentally tough workouts?

Favorite workout songs?

When on the treadmill, do you watch television? I never do, I need music!




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  1. says

    Yesterday was such a beautiful day here and I should have went running but I couldn’t help but think… but my Ipod is broke. then today… Braiden is off school bc it’s so cold. Dang Missouri!
    Those are really good tips. I used to read all kinds of tips on how to talk to myself when running and I completely agree with all of these. I would always pick a spot and say, let me run until I get there. I get there and then do it again. (kind f like the one minute thing)

  2. says

    I’ve never been a big treadmill person so that should be interesting with a half marathon coming up and lots of winter storms. I definitely need music and love, love, love that Brittany song! My classes at the gym use it and nothing pumps me up more!

  3. says

    This kind of thing actually happened to me while I was snowboarding last night. I was feeling a little tired and almost threw in the towel after just a few runs, but then an awesome song came on, which caused me to push myself a little harder, which made the adrenaline start flowing, and I ended up having an awesome time. Music can be a real game changer… And my song last night was Into the Fire by Disturbed.

  4. says

    My spinning instructor said the SAME thing today during class. And while I wanted to cry during that minute, she’s right. It is only 60 seconds. We can do anything for that long. I feel you on the outdoor runs although I never go to the dreadmill. This cold weather does take it’s toll. I’m ready for spring, like yesterday.

  5. says

    Love this. I can totally relate about prewriting posts. I have a hard time because it doesn’t seem relevant if I type if the week before. I know some bloggers can do that but that isn’t my style. Oh Pussy Cat Dolls, I must certainly miss their music a lot. I always had a good time jamming to that…I’m off to relive my past.

    • says

      Weren’t they the best? I like to listen to my “old” songs especially because they aren’t currently being overplayed on the radio. The last thing I need is to want to keep flipping songs while I am running because I am tired of something. Never get tired of Pussy Cat Dolls though!

  6. says

    I’m a big treadmill runner and I always watch TV – I save things in the DVR just for that purpose. This morning The Bachelor kept me entertained through 8 miles.