The Marathon Mindset – Genetic Supplements

The Marathon Mindset

POSTED BY Dr Emma Kirke, Date :

Ever considered running a marathon?

No doubt you will find article after article about how to train physically for the marathon but we asked Emma Kirke to write about how to train the mind for the marathon.

She put together some tips on how to get the right mindset...

1. Your inner voice determines how you approach something. What you say to yourself will determine how you feel about everything in life and how you will feel about race day. If you tell yourself that you’re no good, the likelihood is that you won’t make it. All your fears and anxieties will be highlighted. “I hope I don’t hit the wall!” “I hope I don’t go too fast or too slow!” Ask yourself how you want to be. Talk positively to yourself about how you want to be and say this to yourself. We find it very easy to talk ourselves out of things and be negative.

2. Imagine crossing the finish line. It will give you a level of self-confidence and self-belief but it doesn’t help with the actual process. Better to be visualising the processes of what will get you there. When you imagine being able to do something it actually creates connections with neurons that are the same as the ones that fire when we actually experience things. It primes your body to be able to deal with situations. 

3. Imagine yourself dealing with the stressful elements of the race as well as the great bits that you will enjoy. Imagine being able to easily overcome these elements. 

4. We have all had those feelings of an elevated heart-rate, clammy hands, head spinning would you describe this as nervous or excited? If this is how you feel on race day don’t call it nerves, call it excitement. Better to associate a positive emotion than a negative.

5. Routines are very helpful and can calm yourself down. Pre-match rituals, pre-shot rituals, perhaps seen as superstitions but its repetitive nature creates consistency and helps you feel nice and calm and easy. 

6. When running don’t think too far ahead. Don’t think after the first mile “Oh my life I still have 25 more miles to go!” This can have a detrimental effect on your performance. You need to be in the present state for the best state of mind. Just focus on getting through each individual mile at a time. Your mentality at mile one and your focus is the same and replicated for each mile afterwards. You will find it easier to focus this way and it will be a more positive present state of mind. 

7. Winners don’t actually think about winning, they think about the winning performance. Have your own time in your mind. This will be your own gold medal and put in the performance to achieve this is what you need to focus on. Focus on your rhythm, your gait, your stride pattern, your movement, your breathing and take one section at a time. 

8. Finding a way to block out the bad thoughts is paramount. It is inevitable that you will hit a bad patch, everyone does. At this point you need to have practiced a strategy, perhaps counting or singing your favourite song to yourself. Chose something upbeat that triggers happy memories. Anything that will distract you from whats happening in your head. 

9. Don’t look at your feet or the ground when you’re running, this will make you internalise, talk to yourself more and feel more pain. Look up and use your peripheral vision to go into a trance to block out pain. 

10. Whether you feel like it or not, run with a smile on your face. When you smile you will actually run better. How many people do you know that love the training and then get to the day and are so worried and stressed they don’t perform as well as they could? 

11. Lets consider that the worst thing happens and you get an injury or for some reason you have to pull out. Focus on what you have achieved and not what you haven’t. If you managed 23 miles that is still amazing. If you want to do it again, start focusing positively on what you could do differently to avoid a recurrence. You must also consider the elements that you got right as well, what worked and what you would repeat. Focus on a solution not the problem. 

Dr Emma Kirke