What’s the secret to run a sub-4 marathon or to be fit enough to run more than 3 marathons in a year? Well, there are no secret methods or shortcuts, so it really comes down to smart training and be consistent in developing these 5 good marathon habits that we are going to show you!
#1 Find your goal
You are not getting to anywhere if you are running aimlessly. This applies in everything in our lives: Set a goal. Everything will be easier if you know what path you are running into and if you know when can expect a “finishing line”. While you are going hard to pursue it, don’t forget to track the progress as well. That will help you with more self-motivation when you realised you are moving forward!
#2 Never overdo it
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D. studied how the best performers continuously improve and concluded that they all pushed themselves just a bit beyond of limit. This is the kind of growth-promoting stress that people name is as “just-manageable challenge”. So you have to know yourself well and set a goal that is challenging, a bit outside of your comfort zone, but also manageable. What you are after is the sweet spot. For example, if you are running 30 miles a week, try building up to 40, instead of a big jump like 60.
#3 Warm up & warm up
You have heard of thousand reminders to warm up your body before an intense workout. But, do you know that you need to warm up your mind as well? Yes, that counts the difference. If your brain’s in a state of fear or high anxiety, your body will follow. This is proven in a research conducted by exercise scientist Samuele Marcora, Ph.D., who noticed that subtle mood influencers can alter performance. So, take this fact with you and remember that before your next race, give yourself some time to have a confidence-boost-talk or just look into the mirror and tell your self, “You can do it”.
#4 Stop giving yourself too many choices
According to the psychologist Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., we all have a limited reservoir of mental energy to use on any given day. Are you aware that making decisions also wears you out? So if you like choosing which running shoes or apparels to go for before the race day, just choose the ones that bring you luck or your “Ace” one. On the race day after flagging off, shut off your mind, stay focus and just run towards to the finishing line. Do not think too much.
#5 Start positive talk
We all know that marathon really hurts. So when the pain hits you during a hard marathon, you constantly have the thought of “I don’t think I can do this”. These negative thoughts can have physical consequences on you, such as tense muscles and elevated heart rate, which possibly makes it even hurtful. But instead of panicking, the good marathoners have “calm conversation” in their mind. It can be as simple as the three-words, “It is OKAY’. Yes, tell yourself that it is okay and normal to feel pain because you are running a marathon and that it is worthwhile for any uncomfortable experience you are feeling right now. Remember that, there is always a rainbow over the storm and for us, we will see if after crossing the finish line.