Embracing Less Than

I’ve learned a little something that seems to get me through a run with a touch more of a spring in my step. A bit of a jedi mind trick, if you will.

I used to trudge along, doing my best to not fixate on the clock but the second I did I was simultaneously shocked at how little time had passed and dismayed that OH MY GOD I HAVE 7 MORE MINUTES OF THIS?!?!?

Now I am well aware that the fascination with checking the time/distance is an instinct that is likely to remain to the end of time with anyone who sets their running shoe clad feet on a treadmill. However, I have figured out what to tell myself when I find my eyes wandering from the muted hosts of Sports Centre down to the little digital readout that screams at me in glowing green.

I no longer look at the time and think awwww man 7 more minutes of this pure and absolute torture. Nope. I now look at the screen and tell myself “Less than 7 minutes to go!”

Somehow looking at it as though there is less than X left to go makes completing said minutes so much easier than fixating on how many (or how few) minutes have passed and how many are still to be dealt with.

Calling it “less than” in some way makes the number seem smaller, makes the minutes you have already logged seem greater, makes the remaining effort seem more palatable.

It also pumps your tires a little to think you have already done 23 minutes and oh looky here, less than 7 to go! When you view it as still 7 minutes to go, or even saying only 7 minutes to go, it diminishes what you have already accomplished, as though yeah yeah, you ran 23 already but dude, you’re going nowhere for the next 7. Now move it!

I know, I know, its all in the mind. But sometimes, the mind knows just what to do to power you through that last leg without making you want to give up.

You’ll finish stronger when you change your mind to a positive view of the end result.

More vs less than?

Always choose less than.


Positive mindset brings success!


How do you get yourself motivated to finish strong? Do you use the “x more to go” method or have you tried something different? Do you think the less-than-x style of thinking can help? Do tell!