Positive thinking and marathon training

Training for a marathon is psychologically very tough indeed. You will undoubtedly have to cope with some of the following problems during your marathon training program:

  • Physical pain
  • Training alone
  • Being injured or ill
  • Not having enough time
  • Making no progress
  • Being outdoors in bad weather; and
  • Fearing failure.

Marathon training motivation tips

To get some positive thinking back into your marathon training, try some of these these tips:

  • Remind your self why you want to run a marathon
  • Look at the note you made of the reasons for running a marathon when you started your training.

  • Look at your marathon training schedule
  • See how far your running has progressed.

  • Charity running
  • If you’re running for charity, think of the good your fund-raising efforts will do.

  • Look at your friends
  • Specifically, look at friends who are in poor physical shape and remind yourself how much healthier running has made you.

  • Think about those you will beat
  • Even if you’re on target for a slow time, you’ll probably beat lots of other runners. Look at last year’s race results and see how many people the time you are training for would beat.

  • Visualise success
  • Imagine the amazing feeling of crossing the finishing line at the end of the marathon – or telling your friends about it afterwards.

  • Feel strong and fast
  • Tell yourself that your legs feel great, that you’re running fast or whatever else you need as a placebo to block out physical discomfort and negative thoughts.

  • Live like an athlete
  • Tell yourself that you are an athlete; this makes you a pretty special person (even though there might be plenty of other athletes who are quicker than you).

  • Change your training
  • Find some new running routes or use some different kit at the gym – a change can be as good as a rest, as the old saying goes.

  • Find a running partner
  • A bit of teamwork can really be a pick-me-up.

  • Reconsider your targets
  • Finally, if you have set a target that is simply too demanding (like a super-quick time), you may need to revise your targets a little.

Above all, there’s no point in allowing your training to make your life miserable – marathon running is a hobby for goodness sake!

It’s meant to be a life-enriching experience, not a millstone round your neck.

Happily, there are so many great things about running a marathon that getting back on track with a positive mindset shouldn’t be impossible.

One Response to “Positive thinking and marathon training”

  1. marathonman says:

    Lots of great aidcve and encouragement. I’m 40, took up running 2 years ago and just finshed my 2nd half-marathon. One of the most valuable things I have learned is that each runner has to make their own determination on whether they can complete such a distance. Will you be supported for having the goal, training, etc? ABSOLUTELY! Technically, can it be done, sure but in what way/in what condition/in what time frame/over what period of training is the question each person has answer. There is a chapter in the Mortals book about what your goals are. The end of the book has a chapter that has you honestly examine your goals again, where you are physically, mentally, did you do all the training, did you struggle with injuries, etc. I found this to be the most helpful piece of information available in preparing for the race. I can’t suggest this book enough. Once you get into your training program, you will be able to make your own determination on whether a marathon is something you can do. Whether you do a marathon or not, you’ll be supported by fellow runners. There is a place is this sport for every person of any age, every pace and every distance!