The #1 method for getting out of tough mental or physical spots in runs or races is not managing your pace, has little to do with nutrition, and is definitely not quitting. While these do matter, the most important approach for getting out of a physical or mental funk is to carry on and simply keep running!
This too Shall Pass
An old Persian proverb is probably the last thing you want to be thinking about while suffering during a run. However, keeping it in mind will likely help get through those difficult times.
The saying is meant to remind us that everything is temporary. This includes how you feel while performing endurance sports. If you feel good, it will pass. If you feel bad, don’t worry, it will pass. During your training, when a low point comes around (and it will) just keep running! You will be glad you persevered, and stronger because of it!
Remember this the next time you are having a low point while racing. If you are hurting during the last mile of a 5k, the sooner you finish, the sooner that discomfort will be over!
“During my 100 mile ultra marathon I was on the verge of throwing up at mile 28, mainly due to the intense heat. However I told myself it was too early to start feeling that way, and I had to continue on! I experienced some GI issues and was even a bit dizzy. I took a few moments and drank an ice cold blue berry slushie. The next leg of the race was actually the most difficult, filled with many short steep hills compared with the long and very gradual ones that make up the majority of the Lean Horse 100. The course was giving me a gift. I did not realize until after, but the steepness and forced walk breaks slowed me down enough that it gave my body a break and allowed it to recover! After that section, I continued on and successfully completed the event! Who knew that my most physically demanding moment would be so early on in the race, yet I would overcome it so easily.”