The Chevron Houston Marathon is rapidly approaching which means those weekend long runs are getting longer! As the mileage increases finding ways break it up mentally can help. Here’s my tried and true tip (with some example methods) to manage the mental aspect of long distance running.
BREAK IT UP
We all have our methods for breaking down the distance into smaller and seemingly more obtainable goals but there are two specific methods I like to stick to.
I use fueling methods as an achievable bench mark. By doing this I’m staying on top of my nutrition and tricking my mind into passing the time more quickly. For example, I gel every 30 minutes. So, I focus just on that 30-minute segment and ignore the mileage I’ve covered completely. Setting smaller achievable goals within the larger goal makes you feel like you are constantly making progress! Cause let’s be honest, we’ve all heard that one spectator yell out “you’re are almost there,” when we clearly can’t see the finish line… It can make the quest for it seem endless! The trick is to focus on what you know is ahead and run confident!
What’s the old saying? Breaking up is hard to do…. Well that’s unless it’s for you long run distance – then it’s easy!!! Saying you need to run 20 miles can carry so much weight! Strangely though, saying you need to run a 5 mile loop, 4 times, seems to lighten the load by making it mentally shorter and dare I say easier?! I find the best way to execute this is by choosing routes that are familiar to give you the confidence you need to know that you are in fact making progress!
As runners, we know that mental strength is a huge part of the sport! Finding ways to push a little harder or a little longer is what we do in training and on race day! Get ready to Lace up and run strong Houston!