Rogue Question of the Week – How do you prepare yourself mentally for the difficult parts of the marathon? 

How do you prepare yourself mentally for the difficult parts of the marathon? 

  • I try to focus on proper running mechanics with keeping my cadence up and ensuring that I am fueling properly. I also try to smile as well. My coach always preached this as a way to help. I have found that this has helped me through the toughest parts of my marathon. In addition I will think about positive mantras like “you’ve got this” or “one mile at a time.” I will also try to latch on to another runner that is running my pace later in the marathon. Thinking about BQs, NYQs, or potential PRs also helps me to push through the pain and suffering. – Ryan A
  • Being still “new” to these marathons I’m still working to being comfortable being uncomfortable. Assuming there’s not an injury my biggest struggle is my stomach after 18 miles while trying to maintain pace. So I continue to fine tune that while at the same time pushing myself during long runs to mentally be prepared for those tough times. With each marathon I become a little more prepared. Pushing myself during training helps. And when it gets real tough during the race I just envision myself on the Hilliard trail that I’ve run hundreds of times. I know where those mile markers are and how I’ve always made it home, so I can finish this. Lol. – Greg B
  • I feel like every long run and speed workout is a test to this: if my speed workout actually somehow is easy, I didn’t go hard enough – I make sure I’m uncomfortable because I know that’s how it’ll feel when I’m tired during the race. When I go for my long runs, I hope to do a few of them solo for sure because it’s only you out there during a marathon by yourself in your own head … And I agree with all of the above comments, everyone needs to have a mantra that they can say to themselves on repeat to get you through those final miles. – Tamara K
  • I think the mental part of a marathon is an under appreciated aspect of training. We talk about the long runs, speed work and weekly mileage, but rarely do we address the hurdle that is the mental aspect. I envision how I will handle the adversity of a variety of things that can go wrong on race day whether it be cramps, bad weather, lack of nutrition, etc. I know it will be difficult and I will have to fight through the wall and I try to do visualization of how I can handle that in a positive way. I do feel like the more marathons I do, the better I am prepared to embrace the pain that inevitably comes the last 10K of the race. – Jason H
  • This last session I kept reminding myself of a quote I heard “the reward is in the process” – Jake R
  • Take one mile at a time, try not to think about how much you have left, just what you are at in the moment. It’s going to be difficult- difficult things are fun to accomplish and also- eventually you will cross the line and get that shiny medal and a great feeling of accomplishment. – Melissa K
  • Honestly mine is pretty simple and straightforward. You’ve been here before now push, be better than last race. I run with music and have my playlist fit to those miles deep in the race and when I get a Higher by Eminem or Still Counting by Volbeat, I’m juiced and get that burst to know, I can do hard things. Training or racing it’s the same mindset. – Amy P
  • I try to focus on getting through mile 18 without cutting myself any slack. Once I’m there, it’s time to focus on the last miles, one-by-one. I usually carry music with me, but only use it on that back half. In the last couple marathons, I’ve also made more of a point of keeping my head up and remembering where I am so I can refocus at least some attention from pain to my surroundings. – Emily B
  • Remind myself “your body can’t go where your mind hasn’t been”. I use this through training on those tough speed days, and on race day. – Katie G
  • My line of work is difficult as it’s my job to take care of dying patients. Truthfully I’ve always chosen the difficult route. Picked my major in college purely because it was the major requiring the most credits and classes. My family motto I was taught was ‘Clark’s never quit’ and it’s how I live my life. I don’t need to prepare mentally ahead of time. I’m used to hard, truthfully if something is easy.. My mind thinks it’s wrong, – Michelle W
  • This is a big part of training for me.
    • 1- I run at least 1 long run (20+) on a treadmill to test my mental fortitude.
    • 2- I put static on my headphones and just let it play and don’t move to the next song- it sporadically pops into every play list.
    • 3- I think of others that would give anything for the opportunity to run… my friend in a wheelchair, my friend that lost his life, my friend with such severe anxiety they can’t.
    • 4- I mantra up- “every run is a GIFT” – Erin A