Adopting a Positive Mentality
Spring Marathon's are nearly upon us! We hope your feeling relaxed, confident and excited about your prospects on Marathon day? Well, perhaps not. It's only natural that you might be starting to develop 'maranoia' at this stage- a nagging sense of self doubt that you're not prepared for 26.2. However, at this stage, there is absolutely no reason why race day shouldn't be a fantastic experience.
Over the next month there are no miracle sessions, long runs or special stretches that will make a huge difference to your performance on race day. But adopting a positive mindset will make a huge difference.
The way you approach the next few weeks will have a huge impact on your enjoyment of the day. Here's a few tips you can adapt over the next few weeks.
Refuse to say anything negative about the Marathon- 'Act' your way confident
Whenever anyone asks you about your race DO NOT reply negatively- even if you want to. You're creating a narrative that is self fulfilling. You need to develop self confidence, which I appreciate, is virtually impossible if you're new to the sport. So, your only option is to act your way confident- fool your brain into believing you've got this! Your brain is incredibly complex but it can be easily manipulated.
Evidence for the benefits of positive self talk are overwhelming. Charlie Spedding, a largely unheralded runner from Britain prepared for the Los Angeles Olympic Marathon by telling himself, every day, that the Marathon would be the best day of his life. He even practised and imagined what this would feel like- running smooth, relaxed and powerfully through tough sections of the race. Come race day he was was utterly convinced it was his day- he won an unexpected bronze medal.
Don't dwell on what's gone before.
You're not alone. Every runner since the dawn of time thought that they could have done more training in the build up to their race. No one is satisfied. There is absolutely no point dwelling on what's gone before- focus your mental energy on what you can do now! Grab a massage, improve your sleep patterns, or focus on eating well over the next month- all will be much more beneficial than moaning about your lack of long runs.
Stop building the race up.
The Marathon is undoubtedly an amazing experience, but it is just another long run. Worrying about carb-loading, hydration and pace strategies can be exhausting in itself. You've run long before and this was in the midst of training without all of this race palaver! So don't consume your weight in pasta, or start drinking gallons of water in the lead up to race day.
Approach the race with an inner self confidence. You've done it before on tired legs, with no crowd support, on your own. This should be easy!