For those running SCMS 42km, kudos to you! The courage and dedication you’ve invested throughout your training is already impressive enough. Regardless the results.

All runners are different.

We have our own motivations, our own strengths and we face different challenges. At every km, how do you motivate yourself to go further? There are 5 quick mind games elite runners play to grit through the tough distances!

#1 Count the number of Nike running shoes

Nike shoes are such a rave, especially with their free running flyknit series. They’re used as lifestyle shoes and for casual wear as well. It’s a wonder how many local runners pick Nike flyknits over ASICS, or Saucony, or Mizuno to cover 10km, and a curious thought is whether they’re good for marathon runs. Keep count for your race category!

#2 Reframe the distances left

There’s a road march distance. For army boys and alumni out there, if you can march through 24km with a field pack and minimal bathing, you can run this distance. At 21km, you’re already halfway through. Then, you’re going to be down to a regular 10km run. Then onward, it’s just a single digit countdown. Finally, there’s a remaining 2.4km NAPFA distance away. You’ve been at it since primary school days. Once you’re there, the final few metres are easy to keep count.

#3 Imagine a familiar running route

Instead of taking 5km as a numerical distance, it can instead be one lap around the park connector by your house. For 7km, it’s one complete round about NTU. Rethink the distances as a familiar route you might have trained at. This makes the distance seem a lot more manageable.

#4 Count to the highest prime number

It’s a little game you can play with yourself. It also keeps you slightly distracted. Not too bad. When the run gets monotonous and you’ve captured a certain comfortable pace, start doing some math. When you’ve lost count, you can then focus on your form, breathing technique and the aches in your body. To this back and forth, you’d be surprised how fast the distances close in. Otherwise, there’s always 7-up to play.

#5 See if there are more males or females around

According to Running USA, there were more male marathon finishers (57%) compared to female finishers (43%). Instead, half-marathons are way more popular with females. What better way to test that than at the races themselves?

Pressing on through sheer grit and determination can be tough when you’re actually running. Running itself is tough, and a lot of sweat and breathlessness. Being determined towards finishing your goals doesn’t mean you can’t have simple ideas tucked in your back pocket. These fun games are just some simple ideas for the race this Sunday!