It doesn’t matter if it’s your first half marathon, or your 10th, your half marathon will test both your endurance and your mettle.
Are you ready for it?
Specifically, have you mentally prepared to crush your next half marathon?
Imagine yourself at the race start full of confidence and ready to set a personal record. That’s what mental prep can do for you.
It also means you could…
- Settle your nerves
- Dig a little deeper
- Maintain your race pace though you’re feeling tired
The good news is, you can train your mind while you’re running. That’s right, simultaneously, with no extra time required.
Keep reading to learn the important, key tips on how to mentally prepare to crush your next half marathon.
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THE KEY TIPS ON HOW TO MENTALLY PREPARE TO CRUSH YOUR NEXT HALF MARATHON
You can teach yourself to handle pain.
No runner truly enjoys being in pain.
The pain is merely something you must handle to get to the good stuff—the new personal record you’ll set, or the sense of accomplishment after a good race.
And since running a half marathon will test your endurance, you must learn to handle the burn.
Your half marathon training plan is teaching your body to run at a certain pace and distance. And, on every training run, and you can train your mind to handle pain.
Because with every run, you build your mental toughness.
Here’s how you can build your mental toughness as you’re training for your half marathon.
Feel like cutting a run short?
Go a little farther than you think you want to.
For example, you could convince yourself to run a tenth of a mile more.
Or maybe to the next tree.
Or the next 30 seconds.
You might find that if you continue to persuade yourself in small increments, you’ll run much farther than intended.
Think a run is tough? Some runs do feel hard. But, when you fight to complete a workout, you’re proving to yourself you can get through even the toughest of runs.
Don’t think you can complete your entire interval workout?
Focus on running one interval and forget the rest.
Run through this one interval and see what happens.
What you do in training—running through tough runs and focusing on what’s right in front of you—you can do during your race.
You can mentally prepare for your half marathon during your taper
The time before your race where you reduce your running volume and suddenly things like doubt, anxiety, and irritability appears.
But taper madness doesn’t have to mess with your head.
Stay occupied. Keep your mind from spiraling into catastrophic race day scenarios by doing things you love.
Study the course. Do you have a place you’ve visited a million times and know the route like the back of your hand?
It’s a place where you can navigate to confidently, with no assistance.
In the same way, studying the race course boosts your familiarity with the course and that familiarity boosts your confidence.
Dwell on your good runs. Take time to review your training history and highlight the runs where you felt strong.
Did those training sessions have anything in common that made them great?
Anytime you begin to doubt your race readiness, return to thinking about those good runs.
It’s a calming reminder of the work you’ve completed and serves as undeniable evidence of your efforts.
Set your race day (mental) strategy. Now, most people have a running race day strategy.
But what about a mental one? How will you mentally handle your half marathon?
Will you use mantras to push you through difficult miles?
How will you dig deep in a race? It may be helpful to decide beforehand what you’ll use so you can rely upon them as you’re running.
For example, let’s say your race strategy is to run a negative split. That is, running the second half faster than the first.
Mentally, this strategy will require staying focused on your pace, which is incredibly challenging when runners are flying past you.
Here, you might use a mantra, such as ‘your race, your pace’, to help you stay focused within yourself.
Then at your halfway point, you’ll need to pick up the pace. And that might mean digging deep and bracing yourself for the burn.
There you have it—the key tips that will help you get race ready.
Your half marathon will demand endurance and mental toughness, but using these key tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your half marathon.
…and stay occupied with this fantastic running books