Mind Over Body: Does Your Brain Quit Before Your Legs Do?

You’re on the last mile of your run–the point at which your lungs shrink like week-old balloons and your legs flop around like overcooked spaghetti. You try to distract yourself with the trees, those nice flowers, the to-do list waiting at home; but your mind circles continuously back to how tired you feel. Not even the music booming from your earbuds is enough to drown out the crippling thought that’s pounding in your head:

“I CAN’T DO IT.”

While running is no walk in the park (literally), many of us struggle more with the mental aspect of the exercise. Our bodies will keep going as long as our head is in the zone. But as soon as your brain says it’s quitting time, good luck trying to push through. That’s why the Color Vibe Crew has come up with a few techniques to keep your mind on track until the very last step.

 Music that Moves You

Music is the most popular solution–we know we aren’t breaking any ground with this idea. However, the right music used in the right way can work wonders for your running routine. Instead of loading up your favorite playlist on Spotify, you might want to try a new genre like dubstep or movie scores. A new sound will perk your brain’s interest; plus, an epic movie soundtrack makes you feel like you’re running to save the world.

On the other hand, you can also use repetitive music to provide some mental markers during your run. If you listen to the same album or the same playlist again and again on the same run, you can track your pace through music. Soon, you’ll know that when Taylor Swift sings the first chorus of “Shake It Off,” you should be passing that stop sign down the street. This is easier than checking a stopwatch and gives your mind something to follow.

Watch Your Run Go By

If you’re a treadmill runner, then you have an option that outdoor runners don’t: watching. Your brain will forget how tired you are when it’s busy trying to figure out who A is (no spoilers). Plus, this arrangement gives you the chance to binge-watch all your guilty pleasure shows on Netflix while getting into shape. That way, you won’t finish the series looking like this…

Penny from The Big Bang Theory staring at her computer with messy hair and makeup

Throw it Back to Audio Adventures

If you prefer running outside but music doesn’t quite hold your attention, there IS hope for you in the form of podcasts. When you hear podcasts, you probably think of information, self-help, and talk shows. What you might not think of is adventure. With the advance of the podcast industry has come a resurgence in audio theater–what we used to call radio plays. Back in the day, families would gather around the radio to hear the latest episodes of their favorite shows like Superman. Today, audio theater companies have brought the radio play back to life for your listening pleasure. Voice acting and high quality sound effects put you right in the adventure, providing the distraction of a TV show without the inconvenience of staring at a screen. Run through a zombie apocalypse or a secret underwater base with a few of these podcasts below.

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The Last Mile

We don’t promise that the last mile will be easy, but with these tools, it won’t be your mind working against your body. When you’ve got your brain and your feet working toward the same goal, you can accomplish much more than you ever thought possible. So grab your running shoes and get moving!

A Victory Celebration Awaits You