Head Games….(Lori Muhr)

Posted: February 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

The marathon is very mental.  In fact, running in general employs great mental strength, especially in the later miles of a long run.  Your mental fortitude can make or break your marathon experience, and it can also improve your training experience.  What do you think about to get through the tough miles of a run?  The following is a list of ‘thoughts’ to help keep the mind occupied, and, most importantly, positive- after all, where the mind goes, the body will follow…

1. Smile- When you feel good you smile… so, when you smile, you’ll feel good.:-)
2. Sing- Think of favorite songs and sing the lyrics (in your head).  Make up new lyrics or a limerick.
3. Mantra- Repeat a positive sentence or phrase that is empowering (Hills make me stronger, Run smooth, Shorter quicker steps, I’m tough, Run in the moment, Keep it together, etc.)
4. Think Math- Compute the miles of different sections of your run. For example, I break up one of my runs into sections that include a 1.4 mile out and back, a .8 mile neighborhood loop (done 1-3 times depending on time and distance I need) and a 9.5 mile loop.  I often add and re-add these parts in different orders (and even get the same total!:-). 
                    -Calculate how many miles left, and how many miles done? 
                    -In the marathon, I try not to think about miles until I hit the 6.2 mile mark, then I tell myself I am just heading out for a 20 mile run (which I’ve done before and I know I can do it.).  Then when I hit various mile markers after that, I think similarly (at mile 10, I think of going out fresh for a 16.2 mile run, etc.
                    -Compute ages of people, or determine the year of their birth from their age. 
                    -Project your finish time based on your pace and figure what it would be at different paces. 
Math definitely occupies the mind!
5. Imagine running your courses-  When I have 5 miles left, I imagine running my usual 5 mile course at home.
6. Remember the reason-  You committed to running the marathon for a cause and you are making a difference. You WILL finish!
What do you think about during your runs?
  1. Danielle says:

    Singing! My dream vacation, how lucky I am to have friends and family. Recipes and cooking. Making lists of things to do.

  2. Mags says:

    Smiling agreed!!! A 4 hour run is much more fun when you are smiling!

    My mantra: Pick em up’ put em down! Someone who ran the Marine Corp marathon shared this with me before my 2nd half marathon last year, the Race to Remember. It was very hot…… this mantra got me through the last few miles for sure!

    MATH helped me on Tuesdays 5 mile run from mile 1.5 to mile 3.5 I was checking my pace every half mile. I danced on my street in Watertown when I figured out that I had run 13 min miles, versus my average of 15. Seems like a little thing but it has me really pumped for tonight’s run! I’m hoping to finish in 6 hrs realistically and 5.5 is my rock star goal!

  3. Alex says:

    During this morning’s short run I was having an imaginary conversation with a Facebook friend about an article she shared yesterday (LOL!)

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