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Conquering the Mental Hurdles of Running Through Strength Training and Physical Therapy

Dr. Grant Bishop finishing the Battleship Half Marathon

Running is not just a physical activity; it’s a mental journey that pushes the boundaries of endurance and resilience. From battling self-doubt to overcoming fatigue, the mental challenges of running can be as demanding as the physical ones. Adding strength and mobility training into your running routine can not only enhance your physical performance but also bolster your mental fortitude.


The Mental Challenges of Running:


  1. Self-Doubt and Negative Self-Talk:

    • Many runners grapple with self-doubt and negative self-talk, especially during long runs or challenging workouts. Thoughts like “I’m not fast enough” or “I can’t do this” can undermine confidence and motivation, making it harder to push through discomfort.
    • Solution: Building mental resilience through strength training can help cultivate a positive mindset. By setting achievable goals and celebrating progress, runners can re-frame negative thoughts and build confidence in their abilities. Working out in a group setting like Run Strong can also be a way to support those positive outcomes by sharing the journey with others and feeling their support along the way.
  2. Mental Fatigue and Burnout:

    • Long-distance running can be mentally taxing, leading to feelings of burnout and fatigue. Monotonous training routines and constant pressure to perform can drain motivation and enthusiasm over time.
    • Solution: Incorporating variety into your training regimen through strength training can help break the monotony and reinvigorate your passion for running. Cross-training activities such as weightlifting, yoga, or swimming can provide a mental reprieve while still improving overall fitness.
  3. Fear of Injury:

    • The fear of injury is a common concern among runners, especially those who have experienced setbacks in the past. The possibility of sidelining injuries can weigh heavily on the mind, leading to anxiety and hesitation.
    • Solution: Prioritizing injury prevention through physical therapy and a properly designed strength/mobility program can alleviate fears and instill confidence in your body’s resilience. By addressing muscular imbalances, improving flexibility, and strengthening key muscle groups, runners can reduce the risk of injury and run with greater peace of mind.


Running is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one, requiring discipline, focus, and resilience to overcome challenges and achieve goals. By incorporating strength and mobility training into your routine  and making use of necessary and preventative physical therapy services, you can build a strong foundation for both physical performance and mental well-being. Whether you’re training for a race or simply running for enjoyment, invest in your mental and physical health by training with Change the Game Endurance.



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A man in a blue shirt smiling in front of a brick wall.

Dr. Ryan Godfrey

PT, DPT, Owner of Change the Game Performance

We help athletes get back to training pain free, injury free without taking time off.


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