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3 Mental Tricks to Overcome Any Running Hurdle

Jeff Olson

Have a No-Sweat Mindset

Elite athletes visualize getting over any speed bumps before they even hit the starting line. Flip your dread for those hills ahead by envisioning yourself powering up them with ease, Statler says.

Divide and Conquer

Studies show that the average runner goes longer and stronger when distracted from the effort. "Focus on something repetitive, like counting the number of people you pass. Or dedicate each mile or marker to a pal or a loved one," Statler says.

Make it a Race Day

Just the mere presence of other people or spectators can make you push harder—that's the social facilitation theory—but Statler suggests you can conjure those vibes even when you run solo. "Pick or even imagine another runner ahead of you and race to pass them," she says. "If you feel yourself flagging at the end, picture yourself holding the baton and bringing home the anchor leg as crowds cheer."