Try Paula Radcliffe's approach to becoming a more positive, self-disciplined runner
1. Write down a brief affirmation that describes you, stating it in the present. For example: 'I've put in the hard work and I'm ready to take on the challenge'. Use words that express it emphatically and in the positive.
2. Now say it out loud. This is the key: when you give a new voice to something, what was previously a thought stands apart as a bold, spoken statement. Repeat it 10-20 times and give it your full attention. Look yourself in the eye in the mirror as you say it.
3. Next, choose specific words that describe aspects of the checklist that you'll be going through when you're training and racing. These are called 'trigger words': say these to yourself while you're running. For instance, 'loose', 'smooth', 'easy', 'steady', 'shoulders down', 'relaxed arms', which you will instantly associate with good technique and strategy.
4. Lastly, think exclusively about previous positive experiences - don't allow anything that historically had a negative outcome to enter your mind.
Extracted from How to Run by Paula Radcliffe (£14.99, Simon & Schuster)