Physical training is an integral part of training for a race, but successful mental training is just as important to crossing the finish line. Here are a few mental tricks you can try during your training and on race day to ensure a successful run:
Set Small Goals
If you find yourself struggling during your training runs or on race day, don't focus on how much farther you have to run. You should focus on the next mile marker, the next turn, the next water station or the next light post. Keep setting those small goals during your run to keep yourself focused and not overwhelmed by the amount of miles you need to finish.
Focus on the next runner in front of you and imagine throwing your fishing line out and hooking him or her. Slowly reel them in as you get closer and closer. Soon you will be passing them and looking for the next runner to hook and reel in.
Try to take attention away from how you physically feel by focusing on anything outside your body, such as the spectators faces. Listen to them cheer you on. Focus on the little kids who just want a high five from you. It also helps to have family and friends at different mile markers on the course to cheer you on for a little added encouragement.
You may experience negative thoughts during your training or on race day. Keep thinking and saying positive phrases to yourself while running. People call these their mantra. They develop a mantra which is a positive phrase that gives them inner motivation when they need it the most. "I can do this", "Run strong" or "I am tough" are a few phrases commonly used during race day to help runners get to the finish line.
Remember, the physical training is very important to finish any race. The mental training is what makes or breaks a great race.