How to run a marathon (hint: it's all in the mind)
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.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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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 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.
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 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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