Marathon Motivation: 4 things to know/do before you start training

Let’s talk specifically about marathon motivation.

Whether you are considering running a marathon, are currently training for a marathon or will be running a marathon within the next few weeks your motivation level will shape your training if you all it to!

I want to advise against letting motivation dictate your training. If you allow it to then you will not be successful because you can’t count on motivation.

This is one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through training and running marathons.

You cannot count on motivation to get the job done.

Marathons require such a huge time commitment that while most of us start a marathon training schedule full of enthusiasm and gusto, at one point or another are motivation tends to wane.

This is normal.

I want to share some thoughts on Marathon Motivation:

1. We have to think ahead to these times because if anything is certain it is that our marathon motivation will not last.

We have talked before on how we cannot rely on motivation but instead have to keep disciplined. Even when the motivation is gone.

Discipline is what marathoners are made of.

We need to repeat this to ourselves constantly because it is this that will get us to the finish line.

2. We have to set up expectations.

This is something we need to do before we actually even commit to training for a marathon.

We need to sit down and think about any roadblocks that might come our way before they actually are in our way.

If we expect to suffer during the marathon, to want to quit when we are ¾ of the way done during a long run or to not want to get up for our scheduled run when our alarm clock goes off at 5am then when those things actually happen we will be more likely to overcome them.

It will still be hard but we will be able to say, “I expected to feel like this. I know this is when I need to show myself that I am disciplined.”

Then it comes down to simply just doing it. (Here are some simple ways to help you stick to your running routine.)

3. Find what speaks to you.

There are a billion running quotes, books, movies, podcasts, pictures, stories, etc.

You need to find the ones that inspire YOU.

It will take some research. Here are some ideas:

  • Go to your library. 
  • Browse the top best sellers in running books on Amazon.
  • Look on Pinterest (follow me!)  and search for running inspiration, marathon inspiration, motivation, etc. and create a board for yourself to look at when you need to dig a little bit deeper. 
  • If you want something more tangible then create a running vision board or running inspiration board. Put a picture of the race that you are training for. Tack your goals statement and worksheet up to it to keep it in sight. Hang up a picture of your favorite runner. Cut out an inspirational bit that you found in a running magazine. Just find things that talk to your runner’s heart and display them where you can see it and glean motivation from it!

4. You must realize that the majority of your marathon race is in your head.

Some say that it is only 20% physical and 80% mental!

We can’t simply stick to a marathon training program, run X amount of miles a week, eat a perfect runner’s diet and say we are ready.

We need to also train our minds!

There are so many tricks and techniques that you can use but you have to be aware of them to reap their benefits!

I suggest that you look into goal setting, developing a mantra, learning how to use self-talk and imagery  how to mentally prepare for a specific race course, creating a powerful WHY, etc. 

A lot of these marathon motivation techniques can also be learned by using my resource for runners, Marathon Mindset Training Plan.

Once you have thought about, written, and practiced some mental training techniques you will be 100% more equipped to combat on those days when you have no motivation.

Here are some related resources for you to look over to help you with any marathon motivation struggles that you might be having:

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