Running a marathon is as much about mental strength as it is to do with how physically fit you are. Undertaking a marathon is a commitment that includes months of preparation to get your body and mind in the right shape. In this article we will look at the best ways to motivate yourself for a marathon.
Find a reason that suits you
There are many reasons why people don’t think that they can complete a marathon or ultra marathon. In order to show a flip-side to the numerous negative thoughts that run through a person’s mind, Run Addicts created a list of 101 reasons to run a marathon. Much of the list suggests using the marathon as away to discover something new about yourself. The list even included interesting motivation facts such as number 13 which is, “unlike 99.9% of sports, marathon running improves with age in accordance with the increase in base mileage. Wouldn’t you feel great if you run better at 50 than you used to at 30?!”
Look at the bigger picture
Doubts are normal especially when you are undertaking a challenge that you have never tried before or are attempting to push yourself further. When you start it will all seem too much. Too much time, too much effort, and too much stress. The important thing to remember is that looking ahead, everything always seems tougher and harder and yet when we look back we wonder where the time went. You have to realize that when you finish the marathon you will look back and wonder why you ever doubted you could do it. Traveller and avid runner, Challenger Sophie states that her favourite quote is “one day I will not be able to do this. Today is not that day.”
Run for a cause
Many people don’t just run marathons for themselves, instead they run them in order to raise money for a charity or good cause. This is a great way to motivate yourself as it adds an extra pressure not to fail or give up. In 2015 actor Jonny Lee Miller, star of the CBS Sherlock Holmes show Elementary, ran a 50-mile ultra marathon to increase awareness of the rare disease Sanfilippo Syndrome that affects children. The actor told CBS News that anybody can complete a marathon if they are willing to get up at 5am, even when it is dark and snowy, and do the training. Sherlock Holmes has become a pop culture icon through shows such as Elementary, Sherlock on the BBC and the two Robert Downey Jr. films. Away from the silver screen, the character has a huge fan base that stretches to entertainment platforms through online gaming site Slingo. This huge digital market reach has helped Miller get as much public awareness as possible for Sanfilippo Syndrome.
An important point to remember is that you are going to lose motivation. This is normal, even the most hardened and experienced athlete goes through moments of doubt. Marathon Rookie believes that you have to be ready to catch those negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts. If you let the negative thoughts sit for too long they will start to increase and hesitation will creep in. Hopefully this has inspired you to keep trying, to keep pushing yourself and to complete that marathon.