Mind Over Matter: Stewart Skloss' Guide to Mental Toughness in Running

People who run on a competitive basis or go for challenging runs have to overcome a lot of physical challenges. Physical trainer Stewart Skloss says that runners also have to overcome many mental challenges as well.

In order to complete challenging runs or compete, runners need to have mental toughness, as it will help to motivate them to keep going when they hit a wall. Some of the best ways to do this are to develop resilience, handle adversity and maintain a positive mindset.

Here are some ways runners can do this.

Develop Resilience

Resilience is important for runners, as it helps them bounce back when they face a challenge. This could be anything from feeling sore during a run to suffering an injury that requires them to take some time off from running.

There are many ways to develop resilience, but perhaps the biggest way is to focus on the things that you can control. If you are injured, for instance, figure out what types of exercise you still might be able to do while you're healing. An injury might prevent you from running, but you still might be able to do strength training.

It's also great to make realistic goals and track your progress toward them. When doing so, you'll likely make mistakes. But, if you're OK with not being perfect, you can learn from the mistakes you make, which will build your resilience.

By eating well, you'll also be making your body more physically resilient, as your body will be better suited to heal.

Handle Adversity

Everyone who runs is going to face adversity at some point. In fact, most runners will face adversity on every single run they take.

Whether you're able to handle this adversity has much more to do about your mental state than it does about your physical fitness. Being in good physical shape certainly helps you overcome adversity, but being in a good mental space is even more effective.

One of the best ways to handle adversity when running is to know from the get-go that you're going to face adversity. Then, instead of approaching the inevitable diversity as a roadblock, look at as an opportunity. When you view adversity as a challenge to overcome, you're more likely to be able to push through than if you view it as a negative.

Maintain a Positive Mindset

As Stewart Skloss has already alluded to, successful running is made up equally of mental and physical toughness. Even the most physically gifted runners could find it hard to complete a race or challenging run if they don't have a positive mindset.

There's immense power in developing a positive mindset. The challenge for runners isn’t going into the run with a positive mindset, but maintaining that throughout.

As you run, continue to remind yourself of why you're running in the first place. By focusing on the end goal, you may find it easier to push through. And if you're an experienced runner, think back to all the times you've overcome challenges to finish a race or a run. Remembering your successes will help you maintain a positive mindset rather than dwelling on all the challenges you're facing that might make you want to quit.

About Stewart Skloss

Stewart Skloss is a results-driven fitness professional hailing from Austin, renowned for his expertise in the realm of running. With a storied career as a competitive athlete now behind him, Skloss has seamlessly transitioned into a leading figure in the world of endurance sports, leveraging his profound knowledge to propel athletes to the pinnacle of their performance.

Skloss' approach to coaching is marked by a winning combination of passion and precision. His clients benefit from his unwavering commitment to helping them surpass their fitness objectives and scale new heights of achievement.