For some, motivating oneself during training comes relatively easy, but for others, it may seem difficult or non-existent. There are a few different tricks I have learned over the past few years that allow me to override negative thoughts such as, “I really don’t feel like working out today.”
1. Motivational quotes by present and past athletes – I post these quotes to Facebook and Twitter throughout the week, and if you have noticed from my recent blog posts, at the end of each article. Constantly motivating yourself on a day-to-day basis makes you “buy” into the system of never giving up. For example, when I was running the Chicago Marathon last October, I was on pace for a 3:30 marathon until mile 18, where I felt an unbearable pain in my right hamstring. I finished the remaining 8 miles, but then later found out I had torn my hamstring. The only thing that ran through my head during that time was the quotes I had posted in the past, which motivated me to keep going and ultimately not quit. I was not going to let myself down. Starting this year, I started coming up with my own motivational quotes, that way when my body is telling me to stop, I say, “Not a chance. I am finishing this thing.”
2. Self made poster - Put a poster on your wall that states, “Your competition is training right now. What have you done to improve yourself today?” If you have not completed a workout prior to seeing that, your competitive side takes over. When I see this on my wall I always think, “My competitor is going out there right now to train and will be better prepared than me come race day and it will be that one day that makes the difference between winning and losing.” If that doesn’t set a fire under you, I don’t know what will!
3. Visualize yourself dominating a race from start to finish - Do this 2-3 days per week for 15-30 minutes during training, ideally before you go to sleep. Analyze every scenario you may face during an event. That way when a situation arises, you will have the tools to dominate a potential setback. After these exercises, I feel as if I can conquer any race at any moment in time. Negative thoughts never creep into my head on race day, because I shut them down months before it even starts. This technique will help motivate you to keep your legs churning and most of all, to stay positive.
4. Music – If you are feeling down one day, and absolutely nothing else is working, try this. Choose a song that gets you pumped up the most and listen to it until you feel like you could run through a brick wall. “Ready For War” instrumental version is one that puts me into a focused and determined mindset.
This is a motivational video I made to help kickstart others into a successful marathon adventure. Whether you are trying to qualify for Boston or seeking to conquer your first 26.2 miles, YOU are a champion!! The person’s voice in the background is from Muscle Prodigy TV.
“Anything is possible. You can be told that you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight.” – Lance Armstrong
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