Keep on track with your running
It’s one thing to build up your physical capacity to run. It’s quite another to fortify your mental reserves enough to undertake that marathon or long distance race. Having a few mind games in your preparation will really help you come race day. You could be in the best shape of your life and still run a terrible race if you aren’t psychologically prepared for what’s coming your way.
· Step by step
If you find yourself suddenly overwhelmed by the challenge of running over 26 miles, or whatever race you have committed to, break it down into small, achievable steps. You can actually apply this to any big task you may face in life.
· Inner voice
Make sure your voice in your head is saying the right things. Nothing negative, as it dictates your thoughts. Talk to yourself about how confident you are, how relaxed you are and how much you are enjoying yourself.
· See the right things
Instead of visualising yourself crossing the finish line, which is way too far away an image when you’re only on mile 3 or still in training, see the steps you need to take to get to that actual point. Imagery is really powerful, and when you imagine doing something, we turn on the same parts of the brain that actually execute the move. This is brain training. It’s also important to see the stressful parts of the race as well. If you mentally practice overcoming these things, it’ll be easier on the day than if you never thought about it.
· Be excited
On race day, tell yourself you’re excited instead of nervous. Then all that nervous energy becomes excitement which is a positive mindset.
· The process
It’s about the process and not the result. Winners never think about winning, they think about their performance along the way. Stay in the moment, not 10 miles down the road.
· Take pride in your achievement
If, for what any reason, you don’t finish the race don’t see it as a failure. You have trained so hard and that is not for nothing. Learn from it and decide if you want to enter another race. Appreciate what you have done and look for areas of improvement.