Mentally preparing for a marathon

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)

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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.

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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. 

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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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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

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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.

Running is a very effective way to build cardiovascular endurance and increase mental toughness. It is an excellent stress reliever and will improve your health overall.

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An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Runner

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The legend of "marathon"

The term "marathon" came from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger.

T'he legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly exclaiming, "we have wοn," before collapsing and dying.

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What Can Running a Marathon Teach You About Life?

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The average human running speed

According to a massive RunRepeat study based on over 34 million race results, the average running times are:

  • 35 minutes for a 5K
  • One hour and two minutes for a 10K
  • Two hours and 14 minutes for a half-marathon
  • Four hours and 26 minutes for a full marathon.

We should keep in mind that the data is collected from race results. It doesn't mean every runner is racing or running as fast as they can.

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How Fast Can Humans Run? Plus, How to Be a Faster Runner

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