Training for the Mental Challenges of Running a Marathon

by Wendy on August 14, 2015

Running in a marathon can be one of the most challenging and rewarding accomplishments you may achieve in your life! Almost anyone in good physical condition can complete a marathon with the proper training.

RunningTo complete this endurance event, not only do you have to get your body in shape, you have to get your mind trained to be tough enough to work through any temporary fatigue you may encounter on race day. It is commonly said that the first 20 miles of a marathon are physical and the rest are mental.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when training yourself mentally for a marathon:

Prepare for Bad Weather

You won’t be able to order good weather for marathon day, and running through bad weather will prepare you mentally for any weather-related challenges on race day. Run in all kinds of weather, as long as it is safe. If you wake up for a scheduled long run and it is snowing outside, go out and run in appropriate clothing. Look at the expected temperature for the time and place that you will be running. Many people travel to a destination marathon in a completely different city and climate. If the course is going to be warm, train in warm weather or at least in the daytime.

Know the Route

Study the course map, along with the elevation. If the course is hilly, find a hilly training route. If there are no hills in your neighborhood, use a treadmill’s incline to simulate hills. The more you prepare yourself for your course conditions, the more mentally prepared you’ll be for that rough hill at mile 19 that takes everyone else by surprise.

Find Ways to Pass Time

Find ways of distracting yourself on long runs. A difficult part about running in a long race is, simply, so much time passing by. A good solution to this is to dedicate each mile to a person, movie, or a food that motivates you. At the next mile go on to the next person or thing and repeat for each mile. This exercise is great to pass the time and will help motivate you.

Prepare for Fatigue

Know that there will be some miles on marathon day that will be painful or tedious. Work through them, and they will pass! Use spectators and landmarks along the course to divert your attention away from the miles passing.

Learn to listen to your body and know the difference between fatigue pain and an injury. Marathons can cause physical discomfort and pain. You may get muscle cramps, fatigue, and other ailments that you weren’t prepared for. These pains are normal, and you can and will work through them.

Find Your Motivation

It may help to print out a picture that motivates you to cross the finish line, and carry that picture with you to the marathon. During the race, visualize yourself crossing the finish line. There is a medal out there with your name on it, go out and get it!



Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
My name is Wendy and I'm one of the main contributors to our blog. I'm a retired elementary school teacher who's found a new passion for all things relating to health and wellness. If you feel like your body is not in the place it should be, join the club! We're here to help get you where you want to be in a long term way, and avoiding any extreme diets in the process. We believe in natural sustainable methods to reach a state of homeostasis. We want to get our body, spirit, and soul into prime shape and really start loving ourselves! Wendy's favorite product is Raspberry Ketone 1234

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