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Over 30’s Running: Negative Nancy to Positive Polly (Mindset)


By Guest Writer Curt Davies



Running long distance is more than just having a physically-able body.

In fact, without having a strong, positive mindset during and before the

run, it can be the most strenuous, difficult task you ever set out to

achieve. Oftentimes, it can be the people who either stop in the middle

of a race, or don’t even attempt the race who have a weak mindset (just

to clarify: this isn’t always the case). As a result, I have conducted a

list of different ways you can have a positive mindset when running a

race; whether it be for a marathon, half marathon, or even triathlon (or

training for a race). Let’s find out, shall we?

Surround yourself with positive people


When you surround yourself with positive people, you’re likely to have

their positivity brush off on to you. It’s inevitable, which is a good

thing. Think of all the people who are negative, and try your best to

remove them from your life (sometimes, in certain circumstances, that’s

not possible). Instead, find groups who share similar interests with

you, and are always happy and outgoing. Even if you’re a little timid

and shy, it can help you break out of your shell if you surround

yourself around positive, like-minded people. A great way of doing this

is to join sports, or even go on Meetup and see if there are any long

distance running groups around your area. This is a great way for over

30’s to make life-long friends with similar interests as your own.


Remind yourself that you can do it


Every morning and night, months before the race even begins: you need to

reassure yourself that you can do it, and you’re not going to fail. A

positive mindset is fundamental when running a long distance race. Even

if you don’t feel you can do it, saying “I can do it” out loud can help

you build your confidence, and eventually, you will genuinely believe

you can do it. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t think you can initially run

the race – most people begin with this mentality, because let’s face it,

these races are one heck of a long distance, and can feel unattainable

at times, even for the best of runners. It may be a good idea to begin

with a 5km race, and then build your way up to a full marathon.


Eat healthily


Having a healthy diet equates to a healthy mindset. Put the junk food

away, and start eating healthier, more natural foods. Although it may

not seem like eating more healthy foods will impact your mentality at

the time, I can assure you that you will feel better after just one or

two days of eating less junk. I’m not saying you shouldn’t treat

yourself to a chocolate bar now and then (or even I’d go crazy) but make

sure you keep it as “now and then”, not on a regular basis. Remember:

having a positive mindset when you’re over 30 can be more challenging

than it was when you were younger.


Think of things you appreciate in life


Think of all the people in your life you appreciate. Then think of all

the things in life you appreciate. Fortunately for you, you are more

fortunate than a lot of people in developing (third world) countries.

The fact you’re able to pay to run long distance, and even read this

article on a device should put things into perspective of how good you

have it. I understand it’s probably bad to compare happiness,

particularly of those in not-so-fortunate places, but the fact is, it

can make us feel good if we know we genuinely have a good life; running

just makes it that much better!


Stay focused on what you want to achieve


Whether you want to achieve simply finishing a race or making a certain

time – it’s important that you stay focused on your goals, and not so

much on other things (with exceptions of family and friends). Treat

yourself with a good movie or a nice bottle of wine every now and then,

but don’t forget about what you want to achieve from your race, and do

whatever it takes to ensure you can achieve it. The months before

running the long distance event are crucial to work hard and be able to

physically run the race, as well as mentally.


Set realistic goals


Instead of wishing you could be as good as Joan Benoit or Frank Shorter,

start wishing you were as good as you can personally be. There’s nothing

worse than setting an unrealistic goal and not even getting close to

achieving it. All you’re going to get is an overwhelming sense of

disappointment and dissatisfaction to what should have been a really

positive experience. You’re over 30 now – things don’t come as easily as

they used to, unfortunately. It’s best to set a goal you think you can

truly achieve, and not something that is beyond even your capabilities.




As mentioned earlier: having a positive mindset is essential for every

long distance runner. It can help stay motivated, and overall help you

run long distance in comparison to having a pessimistic mindset. By

following these points, you are guaranteed to go from Negative Nancy to

Positive Polly.



Guest Writer Bio: Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast and has built his own website

located at It’s stacked with information and

other goodies regarding marathon running and training for those over the

age of 30.

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