One of the great aspects of sport psychology is the personalized application of the strategies. While there is a science behind these valuable mental skills and techniques, it’s up to each individual to find their own way of making the strategies work best for them. Since being featured in the July issue of Runner’s World Magazine, I’ve been contacted by a number of runners looking for more information about my book, Grateful Running: Mental Training for the Long Distance Runner, as well as to share stories of mental strategies they use during a run. One particular anecdote that I found entertaining, instructive, and a little disturbing (in a good way, of course) illustrates the unique nature of sport psychology training. For the record, this particular individual, Mike, is in his early 40’s, has never ‘been a runner’, and simply decided to become a runner a few weeks ago – he is now planning to run a half-marathon in October.
10 Years Ago I Walked These Streets, My Dreams Were Riding Tall
It's been 10 years since I've run the Boston Marathon and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of this life-changing experience once again. Back in 2005 my life was much different - I was in my early 30's, single, and not a care in the world. A decade later, I'm in my early 40's, married, and have two kids. The two constants in that time have been running and the Grateful Dead. So, while I mentally prepare for the Boston Marathon this coming Monday by completing one more short run, visiting my chiropracter for one more adjustment and kinseo taping, and listening to copius amounts of Jerry and the Grateful Dead, I'd like to share a few mental tips with all of you...
I’ll make this pithy…success on Marathon Monday comes down to your mindset. Will you choose to achieve success or avoid failure for 26.2 miles?
Identify negative/overwhelming thoughts you have about the race and reframe them to something positive – negat...
After running 2 half-marathons in three weekends back in late May/early June, it was time to take some time off and let my mind and body recover. In mid-July, I received entry into the BAA Half-Marathon, to be held in October. As part of my “comeback tour”, I was eager to run this race. It had been 9 years since my last BAA half (which also happened to be my PR for a half-marathon). The heat and humidity of the summer provided some challenges, but in the end, it was great to enjoy a relaxing summer running season. Training was going relatively well through the end of August but once September came, so did the dreaded injuries. For a 2-week span in mid-September, I was unable to run due to an undiagnosed knee injury. I was pretty much convinced that it would now be 10 years between BAA Half’s. I engaged in 2 weeks of physical therapy and cycling to strengthen my legs and maintain some conditioning. About 3 weeks before the race, I was able to run about...
We are a little over half-way through training for Boston. At this point, you have all endured many challenges – the weather has gone from bad to worse, your free time may be close to non-existent, and your aches and pain are probably a little more noticeable following your long runs. This is the usual time during the training season where many runners find it difficult to maintain focus and motivation. We are sick of the cold and snow and just want Marathon Monday to be here already
To help stay on track over the next 2 months, be sure to think about your long term goal – what are you trying to accomplish on race day? Is it to simply finish? Is it to finish in a particular time? When you know what you would like to accomplish, you’ll be more motivated and focused to work on achieving that goal.
Another way to stay motivated during the “dog days” of training is to challenge yourself every day you train. Identify a purpose for why you ar...
Recapping Mental Training for the Marathon Coalition TEAM
Mental training is about developing the discipline to handle all the challenges that are bound to come your way during training and the marathon. Sport psychology is based off the paradigm of “Think>Feel>Perform” – the way you think about a situation will affect how you feel about it and your feelings with influence your performance….consequently, your performance will then dictate your thoughts, etc….it becomes one big cycle
Identify specific goals you want to achieve for each run – your goals should be SMART – specific, measureable, adjustable, realistic, and time-oriented. Also, be sure to set positive goals for yourself – for example, setting a goal to “power up each hill with good form” is far more effective than setting a goal “to not feel fatigued and run with poor form up the hill”
Identify a purpose for why you are running. The charity you are raising money for is a major factor that will define your training, but you...
Well, the 2014 Boston Marathon Training is now underway. With one official practice in the books, you are all on your way to one of the greatest personal accomplishments in your life. Over the next 4+ months, I’ll be offering some practical mental tips and strategies to improve your overall running experience.
Developing Mental Toughness is a process…it doesn’t happen overnight and it takes practice. This coming weekend will be your first challenge. With plenty of leftovers staring you in the face, no TEAM practice, and the prospect of some chilly weather, will you be mentally tough enough to get in your weekend run? Make the choice to feel good about yourself and designate a time for your training
You are trained to run the race from a physiological standpoint, but what about a psychological standpoint? Do you have doubts that you can finish the race? Do you have doubts that you can achieve a particular time?
Success on race day comes down to Preparation…
Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail – what does it mean to prepare both physically and mentally for the marathon?
Identify negative/overwhelming thoughts you have about the race – these thoughts will restrict you mentally and negatively impact your running
Avoid thinking of the marathon in its totality (26.2 miles can seem overwhelming, especially if you start out a little rocky) – break it down into more manageable segments (Five 5-mile runs and 1 bonus mile)
Finish your taper strong – no need for any extra training at this point – it will have no effect on performance, could actually hurt it
A few mental skills to practice over the next couple of days