Half Marathon Psychological Training

Getting My Brain Into It!

Over the past couple days I have read a lot of articles in regards to the mental aspect of running.  I found this great article on marathon mental training and am going to use it to add to my half marathon training regime.  I will still be running a marathon within the next 12 months but do not see any harm in training my brain to increase my race efficiency.

This training program is based on three aspects of mental training:

  1. Mental rehearsal and visualization
  2. Imagery
  3. Self-Talk
This is all solely based on the internal struggle associated with endurance running or really any tasks that may take a little extra motivation to get through.
I didn’t realize how much mental toughness plays in difficult tasks until i started doing hot yoga.  Firstly I think i need to point out how inflexible i am.  Its to the loin it is almost embarrassing.  I try but still cannot touch my toes.  Yoga to being with was unbelievably hard. Add 105 degrees Fahrenheit and it doesn’t get any easier.  The first time I did it I went with my sister and her boyfriend who are like gods when it comes to yoga, dance, fitness and flexibility.  They dance for Shumka and are absolutely amazing at it!
As I struggle to straighten my legs in downward dog they are working on how to increase stretch and advance the pose… Awesome. Don’t get me wrong I love them and to tell you the truth this helped increase my drive to want to get better.  The second time I went to hot yoga I went alone unknowingly going into the hottest studio in Calgary.  I was lucky to get an amazing instructor that personally struggled with flexibility.  As I worked through the postures I consistently had to remind myself that I could do it.  It also helped that the instructor was super motivational too.  By the last standing posture my mind had decided that I didn’t want to do this anymore and I had to block that out and reassure myself as my mind fought me to quit.  I won! I did it! I didn’t give up on myself and when i finished the feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming that I had a little proud cry (secretly in my jeep afterwards of course).  If I can do 70 minutes of yoga in that heat without giving up on myself then I should be able to do anything!
I have continued to do hot yoga but not as frequently as I would like. I think this would be very beneficial for me in my mental training as well as physical training. I am going to increase it to at least once a week rather then once every couple weeks.
No back to running! For this mental training plan I have to start by making process goals and outcome goals. Process goals are based on the training where outcome goals focus more on race day.
Here are mine:
Process Goals:
  1. Stick to my training plan
    1. Yoga (Once or twice a week)
    2. Cross Training (twice a week)
    3. Running 3 times weekly (minimum)
      1. Pace
      2. Hill
      3. Long Run
    4. Weight training (when doing cross training)
  2. Eat healthy more consistently
  3. Get more sleep
  4. Read before I go to bed
  5. Smile while I run
Outcome Goals:
  1. Breaking two hours in the half marathon
  2. Negative split
Now how am I going to complete this?
Firstly, I am going to start attending the wednesday night running club or Sunday running club at the running room.  I think this may help me find a coach and/or give me a little more direction into improving my running. Secondly I am going to do my long runs in a place of beauty! There is a beautiful lake in town and I think this would be a great environment to run. As my miles increase I may have to expand this location but for now this would be a nice place to run.  Its honestly beautiful! During this long run I am going to work on my mental strategies.  These are some that I read about:
  1. Smile 😁
  2. Self talk
    1. Reminding myself I can do it
    2. If it was easy everyone would do it
    3. If i quit i will be disappointed in myself
    4. The last ten percent in the hardest
    5. In one more hour this run will be done
  3. Pre set music list
    1. Motivational tunes every 3rd song
      1. Fight Song
      2. Believe
    2. Good sing along songs
  4. Visualization
    1. Picture myself running the half marathon
    2. Picture the finish line
    3. Picture how amazing its going to feel to finish
    4. Picture all my cheerleaders in the sidelines
    5. Picture my grandparents cheering for me at the end
  5. Imagery
    1. Imagine I am prepping for the Olympics as top runner
    2. Imagine that running is effortless
    3. Imagine being the first in the race
So that is my plan! Hope it helps you if you are trying to work on mental preparation for a race! If you have any tips they are always appreciated!
And don’t forget If it were easy everyone would do it!  ❤️❤️
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