Are you are thinking about doing a marathon but not quite convinced you can do it? Have you signed up for a marathon to raise funds for a charity close to your heart and never done that distance before? Or do you simply want to challenge yourself?
Whatever the reason, running a marathon and completing the 26.2 (or 42,195 km) is a big deal. Yet anyone with a positive mindset can do it!
In addition to all the physical training you need to cover the distance, you could also benefit from some mind training to help you develop your mental muscles. Some say that the effort to run a marathon is 80/20 – 80% mental effort and 20% physical.
To help you develop a marathon mind, here are several exercises that you can work on during your physical training to help you on the race day.
Get a Marathon Mind. Goals and motivation
After you have decided to complete a marathon, it is important to look at your goals and the reasons why you have decided to do this event.
It is all well and good to say you are going to complete a marathon, yet what are your personal goals? Do you want to be able to run the entire distance without any pain or injury? Do you want to push yourself to run as fast as possible or simply happy to cross that finish line with a smile on your face because you did it?
What are you reasons? Why you are doing this in the first instance. Perhaps it is to challenge yourself and stretch your comfort zones, perhaps it is to follow a structured program and keep the self-discipline and focus or perhaps you are doing it in memory of someone who cannot do it. All your reasons will help you with your motivation to stick to your training, do what is necessary and help you get through the day.
If and when the going gets tough (and it probably will!) you can remind yourself of all these reasons to help lift you up and carry you forward.
Mind Games – Mental Rehearsal
This is one of the most powerful mental exercises you can do to help you achieve success, whether that is for running a marathon or anything else in your life!
Mental rehearsal, also referred to as Visualization, is whereby you imagine yourself doing what you are about to do. As if you were watching a movie of you running that marathon, imagine yourself each mile along the routine, notice the landmarks, get a sense of the crowd cheering your on and seeing friends who shout out encouragement.
Imagine you will see what you will see, hear what you will hear and even feel what you will feel.
By imagining yourself, from start to end of the event, you are effectively building the brain’s memory so it will think that it has ‘been there and done that!‘ It also helps to build confidence that you can do what you are going to do. So when it comes to the actual day of your race, your marathon mindset will know what it should do and will play that ‘movie’ you have watched so many times!
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Pre-Event Preparation
There is no one formula that works for everyone, yet a few basics to consider incorporating into your pre-event routine includes food intake and what kinds of food work best with you, what warm up and physical preparation gets you in top shape ready to go, and what are the timings like before your race and how you occupy your time.
Do you like spending it surrounded by friends and being distracted or do you prefer some quiet time on your own so you can do your mental rehearsal again and calm any nerves. Find what works.
Overall, developing a marathon mindset takes practice just as much as the physical practice you do to prepare your body for the distance. Reminding yourself of your goals and your motivation, doing the mental rehearsal and having a pre-event routine will all contribute to you having a winning marathon mindset to make the day a great success!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Midgie Thompson