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The Mind of a Runner

So you’ve reached a point in your life that everything annoys you. Dogs barking, kids screaming, clocks ticking… absolutely everything. This is called being a human. Unfortunately, it sucks sometimes. It sucks in that it ruins your spirits.

You just want to rip your hair out and cry in a corner, with a sign that says “go away: unstable”. I get it. Your best friend gets it. Everyone gets it. But that doesn’t mean it should be normal – far from it. You’re gonna have to make some changes to your lifestyle. How can that be achieved? I’ll tell you.

Surround yourself with positive people

Is your “friend” being a mean old so-and-so who brings you down all the time? What about your brother? Sister, even?

You need to get rid of them. Each and every one of them. Write a list, and cross them off. Block them from Facebook. Tell them to go where the sun don’t shine, because there’s no way you need to deal with their crap.

Now, here comes the more appealing part. Finding the good people, and building a relationship with them. It sounds hard, but it’s not. Whether they’re family, friends, or strangers. Become a people person, and you’ll never have a bad day in your life (maybe not true). But, these people will be there for you when you need them the most. They won’t mess around. They also won’t leave you when someone better comes along.

Remember: positivity is essential when it comes to running and training for marathons.

Remind yourself that you can do it

Sometimes your mind can be your worst enemy, or your best friend. If it’s your worst enemy, drop everything and run.

If ever you catch yourself thinking about how much you hate running and that you can never do it, I have one solution for you, and it ain’t pretty gonna be pretty at the time: run. You heard me. Get outside and run. Oh, it’s 4am? That’s no excuse!

It’s crucial you drop the “poor me” attitude, and simply say “I got this”. Literally, say it. Say it in front of a mirror, and say it like you mean it. Then go and do it. Rinse and repeat whenever you’re feeling down in the dumps. Nobody will do it for you, and the world doesn’t give a hoot about your feelings. You’re the only one who can change this.

Next time you run a marathon, or train for one, and catch yourself thinking “why bother?”, think back to the article you read from a nobody named Curt. You’ll thank me later.

Eat healthily

This point sucks. I often find myself craving a nice block of chocolate, but I hate the ramifications. The guilt. The thought of getting hooked on the taste. The fact that as I write this, I want some chocolate.

Instead, more nutritious foods should be on your list. Are they as appealing as your favorite junk foods? Absolutely not. Everyone knows that. Firstly, how is this acceptable? Secondly, and most importantly: why is this acceptable?

Eating healthy foods makes you feel better. Much better. And you know what? After a while, dare I say this… it begins to taste good. The junk cravings become scarce, and you actually feel good about it. Your mind is much clearer, and it’s like a new band of fresh air has come over you. Well, for me it was, anyway. Then again, I was never a healthy child. Healthy things were once my worst enemy.

The more you put the junk away, the easier it becomes. It also helps with your positivity, and will, inevitably, help with your running (both physically and mentally).

At least good comes from it!

Think of things you appreciate in life

From your dog, to your mother. Your beliefs to your wealth. Your fish to your kettle. Your lamp to your computer.

Now, let’s look at it from the perspective nobody likes to hear about.

Half of the world’s population (a staggering 3-4 billion people) live on less than $2.50 a day. Congratulations, you’re better off than half the world. You made it. You didn’t necessarily do anything, but it worked. Good job.

Now, if the African children who have close to nothing can be happy, why can’t you? Providing you have no legitimate mental disorder, of course.

What I’m trying to say is… you’ve got it good… real good. Make the most of it, because it can end at any time, whether you like it or not.

Stay focused on what you want to achieve

Setting goals is important, and can actually be fun. Crossing achievements off a list is a sensation nobody can describe. But focus is very important here. Being realistic is also just as important. These are not mutually exclusive. Being focused, persistent, and realistic all come together when setting a goal. Can you beat the Kenyans in a race? Unless you’re Kenyan yourself, you’re gonna be in for disappointment if that’s your goal.

If you reach a goal, then excellent! Treat yourself with a nice bottle of Champaign, and have one for me. A bit of chocolate won’t hurt – as long as it remains “a bit” and not the whole damn block. This is a one-off occasion, though. Don’t buy more than one bottle of Champaign and one block of chocolate. You’ll regret it.

I hope you’ll be motivated to smash any other goals you have set after a night in with the sweetness of chocolate, and bottle of Champaign.

Set realistic goals

As mentioned earlier: beating the Kenyans is far from realistic… unless you’re Kenyan yourself. These guys are born to run. People like myself are born to sit around and eat chocolate all day.

However, there’s more to it than meets the eye. When you set a foolish, unrealistic goal, and fail miserably at all your attempts, you begin to doubt yourself. Do entrepreneurs set the goal of becoming a millionaire in their first year? The successful ones don’t.

Aim low, and build your way up. It’s funner that way.


If you’re like me, being happy isn’t always easy. It can be pretty damn hard at times. Tragedies happen. Death is a reality. Disappointment is common. All these things can result in an unhappy person.

As you begin to appreciate the importance of your mindset, running will be remarkably easier, and you’ll wonder what all the pessimism was about.

Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast who found the mental edge you need to finish your first marathon. He’s compiled some of his best tips into a free download you can get at his website at

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