Sports Psychology

Run Like You’ll Never Run Again

Run Like You’ll Never Run Again

I had a wonderful session with one of my mental game coaching athletes last week. She is a master’s track and field athlete specializing in the sprints. She also happens to be one of the top ranked sprinters in her age group in the country and a multiple-medalist at the Indoor Masters Track championships.

We wanted to tap into motivation and intensity that spawn peak performances. When I asked about what drives her; what makes her go one step further; one repeat faster; one weight heavier in the gym, etc. She paused. Then, she said, “I drive myself because I don’t know when the workout or race will be my last. I treat workouts like it might be the last time I get to do this and so I want to do my best.”

Profound actually isn’t it? We can all talk about how short life is. We can talk about how we should live life to the fullest. We can talk about how we should always do our best. But, how many of us actually pursue all of life in this way – sports, fitness, relationships, hobbies, work?

It brought me to ask even myself – what if today it were the last day I ever run? How would I like to remember it? How could I have it add meaning to my life?

Too often we leave the workout or race thinking “ok, next time I’ll do better/race smarter/complete the reps”. Though I believe this thought pattern afflicts almost all of us; I find it far more common in younger runners. There is a lifetime in front of them, with many seasons, races, workouts to do. Do you take for granted getting your workout done and looking to the next day?

It may sound philosophical which perhaps it is. But it is also motivational.

A phrase we used for running camp one year was: Potentially Brilliant. The message from its originator was one of having the opportunity to make every single day, every single workout potentially brilliant. I think this is his way to focus his intensity and motivation to make this one workout purposeful, the best it can be. It’s a way to focus on doing your best now and not wait for that “next” workout or race that may never come.

Learn more about upcoming Mental Toughness Boot Camps by clicking on this image.

Learn more about upcoming Mental Toughness Boot Camps by clicking on this image.

So here is some food for thought.

What drives you?

Are you guilty of falling into the thinking you’ll always have that next run or race?

What would make you get the most out of your workout today?

Before your next workout ask yourself – if this is my last workout or race – how do I want to remember it?



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This post was written by:

- who has written 19 posts on Trail Running Club.


Owner of Mindset for Performance - a peak performance consulting service for athletes and business people alike. But here's what I actually do! As a certified mental games coaching professional I apply techniques and teach strategies from sports psychology - the psychology of peak performance - to everyone I can. I have worked with athletes from: tennis, golf, running, triathlons, duathlons, cycling, baseball, basketball, soccer, MMA fighting, and professional tiddlywinkers (ok I'm kidding about the last one.

I have a passion for sharing knowledge and see myself more as an educator. I love working with youth and really love seeing the difference the skills I teach make a difference in sports, school and home.

My work totally rocks!

Oh some other boring stuff about me:
• M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration (THE U of A) with post graduate work in sports psychology
• BS in Rehabilitation for the Deaf (Yes I know sign language)
• AA in nursing (early career)
• MGCP - Certified Mental Games Coaching Professional
• Certified running coach USATF Level I
• Certified track and field official USATF National Level


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