Running a half or a full marathon – or even just your usual weekend long run – can be physically and mentally tough, and would make you want to give up. The good news is you can actually train your mind to think otherwise! Here are mind tricks that you can do to help you get to the finish line strong.
1. Break it up – Break your run into shorter distances. You can, for example, mentally divide your 42km run into a series of 8 x 5km+ runs. Consider every segment completed as a milestone to give you an additional confidence boost. Plus, thinking of the next 5km instead of the next 30kms is much easier on your mind – you’ll be done before you know it.
2. Find a Mantra – Pick a powerful, motivational phrase, such as “One step at a time,” and repeat this over and over in your head. This can help you stay focused and pumped throughout your run. Already have a Mantra? Share it Below!
3. Visualize Success – When you find yourself struggling at any point, visualize yourself as an Olympian marathoner or a runner you admire, who’s nearing the finish line. Imagine that you’re running just like this person, relaxed and with the proper form. Picture yourself crossing the finish line and getting a finisher’s medal just like them!
4. Play Counting Games – Try this: Pick a piece of running gear, such as a blue running shirt, to look for during your run. Then count how many runners you see wearing it.
5. Zone Out – Think about something else aside from running. I have friends who are in creative industries who brainstorm design ideas while running. Some people like to think about their vacation plans, or their children’s funny antics. Take your mind to your happy place.
6. Do “The Lasso” – This is similar to drafting. Imagine throwing an invisible lasso on that runner ahead of you. Think of that runner doing most of the work while they tug you effortlessly forward. It may take some practice but it works.
7. Make Post-Run Plans – Plan where to have your post-race meal, or where you’re going to after the run with your friends and family. This gives you something to look forward to!
How about you? What’s your favorite mental trick while running?