Psycological Aspects of Training for Runners

Psychology of Running
I have heard the phrase, “Running is 10% physical and 90% mental” many times before. Anyone who has run a marathon knows this is true. Sure there is a lot of physical training involved to get ready for the run, and the actual run itself is physically difficult, but the only thing that will get you through the training and the race is your mental state!

I think an important first step is to realize that the training for the race is not going to be easy and it will take all you have got to get through it. However, you also need to believe in your heart and mind that you can do it – if you go into it thinking you don’t have what it takes, then guess what? You will not be successful. If you go into it knowing you can do it and you have the desire and dedication, then there is no doubt that you will finish.

An article on the Marathontraining.com site lists a number of techniques a runner can utilize to ensure a successful training program and race. They break the techniques down into 3 specific areas:

* Mental Rehearsal/Visualization – The process of creating pictures or images in your mind.
* Imagery – Playing out/imagining in your mind the way you wish for an event to occur.
* Self-Talk – The “voice” in your head that can be trained to provide positive affirmations during adversity and tough times.

If you go on to read the article in more detail, you will see that the key to success for a runner is having the self-discipline, a goal-orientated focus, and the time management skills to place yourself in the right frame of mind.

In my experience, the races I have been most successful in are the ones that I have been able to maintain the right frame of mind throughout the training program. Once race day came along, I was fully prepared and excited to see how fast I could run!