How to get mentally fit for a marathon

“It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward” – Rocky

Not being in the right frame of mind before embarking on a marathon can literally mean the difference in you finishing or not finishing a race.

We spoke to Ultra Marathon runner and SQD Ambassador Kieron Douglass about his tips to get mentally fir to run a marathon.

I remember one particular race, where I was the fittest I had ever been. I trained the house down for months and was quite confident in my ability to finish the race. Then a slight problem occurred with my support crew and in a split second, I talked myself out of the race before it had even started.

The mind is a funny thing and when it comes to running a marathon, you can never fully prepare mentally or physically for a distance run (if you could that would take the fun out of it), but there are some ways to get your brain into gear:

1. Get inspired

I’m a big fan of listening to podcasts to get in the right mindset for a race. I recommend anything by David Goggins. I also highly recommend meditating.

2. Surround yourself with positive people

It’s important to be surrounded by positive yet realistic people. Someone who’ll not only tell you ‘you can do it’ or ‘you’re amazing’ but someone who will also tell you to ‘suck it up’. You need realistic views, especially when the demons come to hunt you down mid run.

3. Accept what’s ahead of you

 You’re running a marathon – it’s not going to be easy and nine times out of ten, it’s going to hurt. It’s best to just accept what’s ahead of you and to know that you’re in for some pain. Don’t over think it.

4. Switch off

I can’t speak for all the other crazy distance runners out there, but I tend to switch off three to four days out from the run. This is my time to get in the zone so there’s a good chance that if you call me or message me during this time, I won’t pick up or reply.

5. Rest and fuel up

 Like with anything in life, you’re going to perform better if you’re eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of quality sleep.

6. Know WHY you’re running

You’re never going to completely shut out negative thoughts when you’re running a marathon. It’s like going into a boxing match. You can’t tell your opponent to stop just because you’re tired and sore, you just do your best to block, duck and weave. That’s where you need a strong reason WHY you’re running. Your WHY is the reason you’re putting yourself through this pain. If it’s not strong, you’ll get knocked out every time.