Training the mind
I am not a shrink or a psychologists, I cant sit you down on a comfy couch and tell you how to become mentally strong and adapt to punishment.
I have done a handful of ultra marathons and endurance events but the lessons I have learnt about my mental resolve has helped me gain clarity in my day to day life.
The question I get asked a lot is how? how do i run 100 miles?
Its all mental.
You have to start by asking yourself the question of why you are doing these races and the answers are normally based on a journey of self discovery or to prove something or someone wrong. You need to find the motivation within yourself to enter the right head space.
Completing a 5k,10k or marathon is much like the challenge of over coming addiction. Many of my ultra marathon friends didn’t wake up and run 100 miles they all started somewhere and that is what you should start by understanding it doesn’t happen over night. We all go on a journey, make small achievable goals and hit those.
Top mental tips
Unlock your potential
Don’t be afraid to fail – Make it ok to fail and learn from your failure. Going into anything with too much pressure on you will be catastrophic. Make sure you LEARN from you failure though.
Make pain your friend – Important in endurance events, you will be in pain without question. It whether you have the mental resolve to fight through it. Remember running produces endorphins a natural pain and stress reliever – so keep running and you will be ok right?!!?
Discover something about yourself you didn’t know – go into the zone of discomfort, take yourself out of your comfort zone and understand what is going on.
You will never know unless you try – people say they could never run a marathon, have they tried?! Test yourself, you could surprise yourself.
Small goals – Be it weight loss goals, time goals or running a distance. Ultra marathons are loooong. When I ran a 100 miles i didn’t think about 100 miles the whole way. I broke it down, it was a 5 mile looped race so I went lap by lap! Go checkpoint to checkpoint or pick a point in the distance.
Dont think about the end – Its about being strong up top. Don’t let your mind finish before your body. In my first ultra my body started giving up about 10 miles from the finish because in my head I was home and dry. But that was far from the case. How many people hit the wall at mile 22,23,24 in a marathon?!?!
Be happy – You signed up for the race! Theres a reason your their – dig deep and ‘man the fuck up’!
You owe it to yourself to have some time alone and running/endurance sports are the way forward.
Training and racing is such a mental battle. Getting out there when its cold and wet, when your tired and sore. Getting my head in the right space has helped me go from an over weight unhealthy chef to an endurance athlete.
You have to be willing to do things today that people wont do to have what those people don’t have.