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When beginning a long distance training program it is tempting to look at the projected miles as a whole. If you have ever been there, you know this can be extremely overwhelming and maybe even incite sheer panic.
It’s best to take your training one run at a time and focus on your daily task at hand. Trust that the combination of runs will prepare you for race day.
To keep your head in the game try using the following tips from our experts, whose advice will help you psyche yourself up – not out.
Your Running Mantra
When you get close to the end of your training program, before the big race, you can often get burnt out. When you are running your long runs, pushing hard, are ready to stop and walk, internalize that feeling and tell yourself how strong you are. Think of one word that helps motivate you during that time, mine is fighter. I fight to get to that finish line.
During the race I can remember back to how it felt to push through the pain during training and how great I feel now because of it. It can also help to have a reward at the end of the race, sometimes its a cold beer, hamburger or a doughnut.
Focus On Success
First tip is to be aware of your thinking. Replace any discouraging thoughts like “This is too hard” or “I can’t do this” with “I am capable” and “I can.”
Second, listen to your body and adjust as necessary. Tell yourself it is okay to walk for short periods of time and that you are doing the best you can. It is good enough.
Third, take time to visualize yourself successfully completing the half marathon. Your body will achieve what your mind can conceive.
Seeing Is Believing
Use visualization to keep you going and to be at your best. Start with your desired goal in mind, finishing the half marathon and enjoying the process. Write out all the benefits of accomplishing this feat, and the consequences of not accomplishing this feat.
To visualize success:
- Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable posture
- Take 3 belly breaths and on the third one close your eyes
- Progressively relax yourself starting with your face and soft eyes, and allow a wonderful comfortable feeling of relaxation to flow from your face over the top of your head and down through your entire body.
- Create a movie in your mind with you as the star, of you successfully finishing the race. What would you see, hear, and feel that’s proof you succeeded?
- Next, do the visualization from your point of view, as if you’re actually doing and experiencing it. What would you see, hear, and feel as you run the race and finish it? Would you be seeing people, buildings, other runners, hear cheering, hear your breathing, feel the wind, feel your legs pumping, etc.? As you cross the finish line, what feelings would you be experiencing?
Do your visualizations daily, especially as you go to sleep at night and reap the rewards.
What is your running mantra?
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