Mental Training is huge when it comes to long distance running especially during marathon and half marathon races.
Let's think about what success is since success is tied to not only physical but also mental parameters.
The dictionary defines success as, "the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted."
You see, it is very subjective.
It is how you perceive something.
Do you see it as a success or as a failure?
Mental training will help you to understand success, to help you reach success.
It boils down to this: How you THINK is how you FEEL is how you will DO.
It's powerful stuff, your thoughts.
So let me tell you how mental training is beneficial to your race strategy and then once you are convinced, be sure to check out Mindset Training Plan for Marathoners to help you mentally prepare for your next marathon race!
Here are 7 reasons why you should WANT to have a mental strategy for your long distance running and race:
In marathons especially, there comes a point in time where you start to ask yourself "Why in the world am I out here?".
If you don't have a clear response to that it is easy to get sucked down into the negativity tunnel instead of being able to refocus with your clear and powerful why.
The keyword is clear!
Defining your mantra is an important component of mental training as it is something that can take hold on you and dictate your subconscious.
Having a mantra is a powerful tool that any runner can easily come up with and practice.
A mantra is a word or phrase repeated to aid concentration in meditation. (MAN = mind, TRA = instrument).
It is an instrument of the mind.
If you pick the right mantra for yourself you will be able to have a better control on your subconscious level of your mind.
Developing your own powerful marathon mantra is one of the tools that we work through in the Mindset Training Plan for Marathoners.
So you forgot to grab a GU at that last aid station, or you didn't sleep a wink the night before?
That's ok, you can learn how to turn those negative emotions around into something that is positive and in your control.
What does that mean to you?
A greater feeling of empowerment and a sense of control.
It's all about telling yourself what you need to do and reframing negativity by finding the positive opportunity that is available for you to choose at that moment.
One example of this, that I walk you through in the Mindset Training Plan for Marathoners is thinking ahead to race conditions which will help calm you and feel more in control and prepared.
The feeling of uncertainty or of not knowing what will be happening plays into our fears.
It increases them and it heightens our doubts, it makes us feel more pressure and takes away from our physical capacity.
It stresses us out!
In the Mindset Training Plan for Marathoners we will write out and think through everything that may be happening on race day so that you can feel and be prepared.
It will give you peace of mind and help to calm some of those race nerves down!
One simple tool that I recommend to runners is choosing a running model.
When you study a person, their characteristics, their strengths, you can become a little bit like that person and tap into their ways.
You can act on them. This can be very impactful for times when you feel as if your running is becoming stale or you aren’t seeing progress or you simply need a distraction during a race.
You can switch gears and suddenly become Meb winning the Boston Marathon, smoothly and steadily.
Think about it.
If someone came to you during a race and told you they weren't going to make it, this was their worst race ever, blah, blah, you wouldn't jump all over them.
You would try to build them up. Encourage them.
Do the same for yourself.
Do some positive self talk! Learn how to be nice to yourself, build yourself up.
Don't let your fear of failure take away from your desire to succeed.
Don't just hope pain will go away.
It won't so that's why it's important to learn how to manage it.
You have to learn how to deal with it and how to put it to the side.
Start practicing different areas to focus on when the pain begins to set in.
You'll get to think about some different areas to focus on when the pain starts to set in inside the Mindset Training Plan for Marathoners.
There is more included (see it all here!) in the Mindset Training Plan workbook as well but these are some of my favorite tools that I wanted to share! .
The Mindset Training Plan is going to seriously up your game and make you a much better runner.
A more prepared runner. A runner who knows himself better!
All the best out there!
Stay motivated and keep your running fresh in our Motivation for Runners Section!