Mind Games: 4 Tips for the Great Whitehaven Beach Run Posted by Steve Jackson - 1 June 2021 Running on the most beautiful beach in the world may be enough of a good distraction, but you might need extra help when you look up and think, "that finish line doesn't seem to be getting closer?!". Running along an open stretch of beach is quite a foreign experience for many of us. Typically we have blocks of streets, local landmarks or turns in the trail that keep us focussed on the present - but with nothing to break up the beauty, you’re going to need a few mind games to get your head in the game for the Great Whitehaven Beach Run! Here are four tips to help your race go smoothly: Talk to people! NOBODY lives on Whitehaven Beach; we are all visiting from somewhere! So if you find yourself running at a similar pace to someone, have a chat and get to know someone new. Use the KM markers. Don't think too far ahead and maintain a pace or rhythm to the next marker. Instead of looking out, look within. Use mantras or coaching cues to stay focussed. Spend a kilometre focussed on the rhythm of your breath, or try to use a mantra like 'Stay light, take flight' to focus on your cadence and foot strike. Use these mini-sessions to break up your run into 'bite-size' pieces. SMILE. There's ever-increasing science behind the benefit of smiling whilst exercising. Given the out-and-back nature of the course, say “G'day” to friends (and strangers) running past you, smile and wave to the boats moored off the beach, and say “Thanks!” to our volunteers. And look around - there's few (if any) better places to be in the world right now! A lot of these mind tricks are what we call 'disassociation', and can be helpful in sparing some of your negative mental energy expenditure, and in turn, help trigger a calm, focussed and fun run experience. All the best! About the Author Runner, coach, race director, tour leader, husband and father of two. Steve has always been passionately involved in an active lifestyle and has always sought to share the benefits of sport with the community. So with the Whitsundays as a blank canvas; it seemed only fitting that it had events like the Endurance Series to showcase the natural beauty of the region in a fun, challenging, yet rewarding way!