Mindful Running – Discipline

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The 4 cornerstones of Mindful Running are respect, discipline, mindfulness and regular practice. Lets turn our attention to Discipline

Discipline

Self discipline

According to a 2013 study by Wilhelm Hoffman, people with high self control are happier than those without. Self disciplined people are more able to deal with goal conflicts and are less likely to make choices dictated by impulses or feelings. The ability to stick to the goal and not give in to detrimental impulses is vital to leading a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re a regular runner then you already have a high degree of self discipline. Self discipline is needed to maintain a regular training schedule, to complete the challenging quality sessions, to keep going when you’re hurting, to stick to your eating plan.

True self discipline is following through on every detail of your plan. Don’t skip out on the last 2 reps of a 16 rep hill repeat because you ‘suddenly’ remembered you have a meeting to prepare for. Don’t be the person who always has a ‘good’ reason for not doing the Tuesday speed session. Use your Mindfulness skills to take a mental step back and recognise whether your reasons for skipping are truly valid or if you’re making excuses. It’s an opportunity to improve your self discipline if you can overcome an excuse and stick to the plan.

Cultivate self discipline by sticking to your training plan, eat healthy, sleep well and you will reap the benefits.

Consistency

A consistent dripping of water will eventually wear through rock. Consistency is the single most important factor to long term change. Small incremental improvements over time become big changes. Lose 200 grams a week and you will hardly notice the difference week on week. Look back after 6 months and you will have dropped almost 5 kg. Increase your weekly running distance of 20 km by just 10% a week and in 6 months you will be running 200 km a week.

Focus on the process and occasionally pause, take a breath and look at how far you’ve come. You will always be pleasantly surprised and that is good motivation to keep doing what you’re doing. This works well climbing big mountains, eating up distance in a 100 miler or running a PB 5 km.

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