Wrapping one’s mind around the epic journey/ adventure/ life altering task that training for a marathon is can be quite insane. It can even scare the weaker folks enough that they quit a few weeks into their training and there are those that never even try. So in the coming weeks I’ll be throwing out my random thoughts, experiences, tips, tricks and other things that start with T to help get you across the finish line. OK, there may not be many other things with T but you get where I’m coming from.
A big part of marathon training is the mental game, as we all know that when your mind is not focused on the task at hand your performance will suffer. This holds true to running, if you start telling yourself that the run, route, or any other combination of things suck soon your performance will deteriorate and misery filled run is what you will be left with. But that’s not what I’m going to focus on today, I want to talk more about getting your mind ready, visualizing your goals, and getting/staying motivated so you can get up at the ass crack of dawn strap on your shoes and get out the door. For those of us that schedules don’t allow training with dawn’s crack it can be even harder to find the motivation to run after a sucky day in the office, long day in school, or whatever it is we do to occupy the time between our runs.
So let’s talk a bit about staying motivated and getting mentally prepared. At some point we have all heard these fabulously cheesy lines ……Stay focused, Keep motivated, Believe in yourself, and the classic…The power of positive thinking. These nuggets of inspiration may work for some but will not work for everyone. I have to say that those pearls of wisdom are not going to push out the door on those days that the warmth and comfort of my bed are much more appealing than the wind, rain, and cold.
Personally, I like to use music to get me motivated and to help me visualize my goals and successes. Music is the one thing that can alter my mood in an instant; it can cheer me up, calm me down, and most importantly motivate me. I know listening to music while running is a heated topic and I’m not here to start a debate, so calm down and stay with me. I’m talking about listening to a particular song while you’re getting dressed or driving to the trail head, for some they will find the soothing sounds of Kenny G what they need to get ready or they may want to get jiggy with it, others will want to bang their head till its red (For the record I’m not riding with the Kenny G folks to the trail head, just sayin’). There are even those that want to crank up Eye of The Tiger so they can connect with their inner Rocky.
Speaking of connecting with your inner Rocky let me tell you that visualizing your goal and thinking how awesome you will feel when you reach it will do more for your motivation that you can imagine. I have found that songs with killer intros are the best motivators……..We Will Rock You, Flight of the Valkyries, Carmina Burana, and my current favorite Call to Arms. When these songs intros are playing this is the time to start visualizing what you are about to do or what you aspire to accomplish.
If you have never listened to a song that gets your blood pumping while thinking about not only finishing a marathon but doing way better then you expect you may want to try it some time. Here is a bit of a mental training exercise to try. Click on the link below close your eyes, take a deep breath and think of the following things: Lacing up your shoes, running your hand across your bib, running effortlessly, walking into the starting coral, light stretching, smiling and waving to the screaming crowds, the sound of the starting gun, feeling strong and ready, crossing the finish line and hearing your name called, and the weight of the finishers medal that has just been placed around your neck.
At some point we have put together that killer soundtrack for our lives, so why not put it to good use. Find that song or songs that get your blood pumping and use it to give you that extra push on those days that you need it. It can be the boost that your training needs.
To find out more about Ambassador Eric Scott, visit our Ambassador page.