It’s easy to talk your way out of a longer run. So we asked pro middle-distance runner Sara Hall, who made her 26.2 debut at the L.A. Marathon this spring, how she stays positive and mentally strong through all those miles.

Relax and roll.

“I repeat this mantra over and over to myself during tough long runs and races,” she says. “When I start to get tired or anxious, it just cues me to keep my legs rolling along and to relax into it.”

Zone out.

“Sometimes you have to turn your brain off for a little bit, forget about how far you have left to go and simply focus on running the mile that you’re in,” Hall says.

Split the distance. 

“I often have separate workouts within my long runs to help break them up—maybe the first mile will be kind of moderate, then I’ll do more of a tempo run and finish with a cooldown,” she says.

Don’t stare at your watch! 

“People (myself included) get caught up with technology rather than feeling out appropriate effort,” Hall says. “Use it as a tool, but don’t be a slave to it, where you have to hit certain times or it’s a failure.”