Mental Toughness Tips for Running a Marathon
#1. Use pre-race imagery
- Picture yourself in the event during training runs.
- Imagine what you want to look like as you run. Consider your:
- Body language
- Picture yourself successfully battling pain and exhaustion.
- Envision yourself crossing the finish line.
#2. Create a mental map of the course
- Use landmarks to trigger a mental reaction.
- Break the race down and choose your focus and attitude for each stretch.
- Have a focus plan for pain and exhaustion.
- Imagine dealing with obstacles such as:
- A crowded starting line
- An untied shoe lace
- Large groups of people along the course
#3. Have tricks to keep you focused
- Simplify the race (left, right, left, right…).
- Stay in the present. Don’t worry about how much you still have left.
- Listen to music or count.
#4. Use in-race imagery
- Break through the wall, mentally.
- Imagine the sunshine pulling away the pain.
- Picture scenes from Rocky.
#5. Watch your self-talk
- Be your own biggest fan. Cheer yourself on!
- Don’t say anything to yourself you wouldn’t let anyone else get away with.
- Change negatives to positives (pain = working hard).
#6. Remember that confidence is a choice
Preparation and trust are the keys to confidence.
- “Flag the minefield.”
- Act the way you want to feel to create those feelings of confidence.
- Focus on what you can control.