Mentally preparing for a marathon - Deepstash

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How to run a marathon (hint: it's all in the mind)

Mentally preparing for a marathon

Identifying imaginary, but realistic scenarios before the race like “what happens when I hit the wall?” or “what if it rains?” and then identifying  potential strategies to cope with these situations should they arise on race day are the key to success on the actual day itself.

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How to run a marathon (hint: it's all in the mind)

How to run a marathon (hint: it's all in the mind)

https://theconversation.com/how-to-run-a-marathon-hint-its-all-in-the-mind-58033

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail

When preparing for any marathon or long distance, not only is physical preparation important but it is also crucial to prepare mentally for the gruelling number of miles and the inevitable mental challenges. 

Hitting the wall

Hitting the wall is basically about running out of energy: Your legs feel like concrete, your breathing becomes laboured, your stride turns into a shuffle. Negative thoughts flood your mind, and the urge to quit becomes overwhelming. 

Hitting the wall isn’t just a fallacy, it’s probably going to happen to you at some point to you if you’re brave enough to be running the marathon.

Mantras and self-talk to focus the mind

Runners report using a rich variety of motivational self-talk as well as spiritual self-talk and mantras. Repeating choice words whenever you need to focus can help direct your mind away from negative thoughts and toward a positive experience

Association and dissociation

Association refers to the monitoring of the body and adjusting pace accordingly, while dissociation refers to using distraction to direct attention away from pain.

During a marathon, association and dissociation are important cognitive strategies for maintaining focus.

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Break down your run
A marathon is 26.2 miles. But if we break it down, we're really just running 10 miles twice, then finishing it off with a simple 10km run.

You can apply this concept to your goals. Break them down, so they don't seem so daunting. Tackle it each step at a time. And if you need to, take breaks in between. It's not the end of the world.

Prepare for the worst

It's important for us to be realistic sometimes as well. 

The better prepared you are, the higher the probability that you will "finish" your life's marathons.

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Benefits

It is never too late to start running. Many take up this sport in their 50s and beyond. To start, you only need a good pair of running shoes and a desire.

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Types of running
  • Road Running: running on paved roads, paths, and sidewalks.
  • Treadmill Running: easier than outdoor running and can be gentler on your joints.
  • Racing. Road races can vary from 5Ks to half or full marathons or even ultramarathons. 
  • Trail Running: it takes place on hiking trails, from deserts to mountains.
  • Track Running. Track events include shorter distance races from the 50-yard dash to 400-meter sprints. 
Getting Started
  • Invest in Shoes and Gear. Visit a specialty running store to get fitted for the best shoes for you and check out gear such as running shorts, tops, or tights made of wicking fibers.
  • Stay Safe. Do a warmup before you start, like a walk or an easy jog for 5 min.
  • Follow running safety advice, such as going against traffic when running on roads. Always carry some form of identification with you.
  • Use the Run/Walk Method. Start with running for one minute, then walk for one minute. Try to increase the running intervals over time.
  • Make It Manageable. Keep a conversational pace during each workout. If you can't speak in a full sentence, slow down. Breathe through your nose to get enough oxygen.

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