Mental Training for Running

Today, I pulled out my Mental Training for Runners book by Jeff Galloway. With my first full marathon just over a month away, I have come to the conclusion that I need to work on my mental training. Jeff says that you can train your mind to be motivated just as you can train your body to run farther or faster.

With that in mind, as I approach my last long run this Saturday before my taper, I plan on working on my mental training as a runner. If I train my brain, I know that I can get through the mental aspects of the marathon or any long run. The two areas that I really plan on focusing on are mental mantras and mentally rehearsing race day.

Galloway has a number of mantras in his books that runners can use during their runs. You just need to find key words or phrases that increase the positivity in your brain. They say that running is 90% mental and 10% physical, so mantras can definitely be a big help during a rough run or tough part of a race.

A few of my favorites…
**Finish line – I can feel it
**I’m going to finish strong
**I can do it

I’ll likely use the inspiration from his lists of mantras to make my own, but those three are definitely ones I can put to use right away. Even something like “one more mile,” can push you further and further along on your run. I also like that Galloway suggests doing silly things like singing or talking to your body to keep your mental strength and power up.

Mentally rehearsing a race is the most effective mental preparation tool for runners, according to Mr. Galloway. If you rehearse all the possible situations you may encounter during a race, you will release stress and be better prepared for success on race day. I’ve known other runners who have done this exercise and it really does seem to be helpful before a big race.

Have you done mental training for your races? How do you prepare yourself mentally for your marathons or long runs?


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