Overcoming Mental Blocks in Running

Strategies for Success

The Nomad Athlete
3 min readFeb 15, 2024

In the world of running, physical conditioning is often the primary focus of training. It’s essential, of course. But what isn’t always talked about is the mental aspect of running. No matter how physically prepared a runner may be, mental blocks can stop them in their tracks, hindering their progress and diminishing their performance. However, overcoming these mental obstacles can propel you forward, increasing your endurance, speed, and overall running ability.

Before delving into strategies for overcoming mental blocks in running, it’s crucial to understand what these blocks are. Mental blocks in running are psychological barriers that prevent you from achieving your running goals. They could manifest as fears, doubts, or negative self-talk that undermine your confidence and hinder your performance.

Mental blocks can be challenging to navigate, but they’re not insurmountable. With the right strategies, you can overcome them, allowing you to reach new running milestones and enjoy your runs more. Here are some effective strategies to help you overcome mental blocks in running:


One of the most powerful strategies is visualization, which involves mentally rehearsing your runs. This technique allows you to create a mental image of yourself successfully completing your run. The more detailed your visualization, the better. Imagine the route, the weather, how you feel, and how you tackle challenging parts of the run. Visualization can help to build confidence and counter negative self-talk.

Mindfulness and Breathing

Mindfulness involves staying present and focused on what you are doing at the moment. This strategy can help to eliminate distractions and manage your thoughts and emotions better. Combine mindfulness with deep breathing exercises to help calm your mind and body during runs.

Positive Self-Talk

Your internal dialogue plays a significant role in shaping your running experience. Negative self-talk can limit your performance, while positive affirmations can boost your confidence and push you to do more. Practice affirmations and mantras that resonate with you and encourage you during your runs.

Set Realistic Goals

Unrealistic goals can often lead to disappointment and frustration, which can deter your progress. Set realistic, achievable goals that you can work towards gradually. Celebrate small victories along the way to keep yourself motivated and encouraged.

Seek Support

Running can sometimes be a solitary pursuit, but that doesn’t mean you have to face challenges alone. Join a running group or hire a running coach for guidance and support. Sharing your running journey with others can provide motivation and inspiration to push through mental blocks.

Practice Regularly

Consistency is key in overcoming mental blocks. The more you expose yourself to running and work through the mental challenges, the better you will become at managing them. Regular practice will help you to build mental resilience and endurance.

Running is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. The ability to overcome mental blocks can significantly improve your performance and your enjoyment of the sport. So, as you train your body for running, remember to train your mind too. Use these strategies to help you navigate mental blocks and enhance your running experience.

Overcoming mental blocks in running won’t happen overnight. It requires patience, commitment, and consistency. But with time and practice, you’ll find yourself not only running faster and longer but also finding more joy and satisfaction in every run.



The Nomad Athlete

Endurance athlete, digital nomad, nerd. Just a normal guy trying to figure out fitness, business, and life. https://thenomadathlete.gumroad.com/l/abetterlife