Running is both a physical and mental challenge. Physically, the human body is capable of pushing itself past unforeseen limits, but it is the mental state that keeps the body’s legs moving one foot in front of the other. Without psychological inspiration, it would be too easy to give up. Here are four tips to help you reach that extra mile.

Listen To The Right Music

Through research sponsored by the American Council of Exercise, music has proven to increase a runner’s capability by fifteen percent. Everyone has their own style of music that they enjoy listening to. In running, though, it’s not the words that push you, it’s the beats per minute.

For every beat in a song, you want your foot to hit the ground. For this reason, anywhere in the range of 139 to 169 bpm is ideal to keep the momentum going. If the song is uplifting enough, you can gain a boost of energy to make the strides up any hills or slopes.

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

The imagination is the strongest tool the mind has. When you are running and the scenery no longer appeals to you, imagine yourself somewhere else. You could be a knight running from a dragon, a monster hunter chasing zombies, or simply be a runner in a race against time. Before you know it, you’ve ran half a mile away from the lion’s den and towards your finish point.

Positive Self Communication

A study was done by gathering a group of twenty-four people, giving them a strenuous bike test, and then splitting them into two groups. Group A was given a session about positive self-talk and how to benefit from it during exercise. Group B was given no guidance. Both groups were then instructed to do the same bike test, and it was shown that Group A lasted eighteen percent longer than the first test.

Being able to have that relationship between mind and body can help push you through the toughest of stretches in your run. This practice can also help give you the positive outlook on running that you may need that day.

Break Your Run Into Smaller Sections

Just like looking at the clock at work and thinking that you have ten more fifteen-minute intervals until you clock out, the same practice can be used when running. You can have six more quarter miles, or forty more houses to pass by. This technique allows you to steer your mind away from the movement of your legs and, instead, on the number in your head.

These mental tools will help you be able to push yourself through the finish line. Not only will every step make you physically stronger, but mentally, you’ll be ready to take on even the toughest of trails.