Mental Motivation

mentalmotivationWhy do you want to run a marathon?  Why do you want to take this challenge on now?  What is the payoff factor for you?  Each person is on an individual journey and something has brought you to the place where you want to run a marathon and change your life.  Now it is time to use your most powerful muscle to propel you forward.  YOUR MIND 

The whole purpose of the Marathon Training Academy is to empower you to run a marathon and change your life.  Think back to when you first started running…  what were those first months like?  They were tough.  Sometimes you wondered why you even pushed yourself to run at all.  But, you kept going because you found a payoff.  You probably started noticing positive physical changes like weight loss, better posture, and more energy.  You also noticed more confidence and better self-esteem from pushing yourself to do the hard thing. 

Your marathon training is going to be similar to when you started running.  There are going to be tough times, times when you wondered what possessed you to do this.  But when you tap into your mental motivation, it is going to get you through the hard times.  I’m not trying to discourage you from starting the program.  Not at all!  This is going to be life changing.  But like any life changing event, there are going to be moments of discomfort.  You are going to have to reach inside yourself for the strength to keep going.  Your mind and will are the strongest muscles you have.  They are going to be exercised and pushed just like your physical muscles are. 

There will always be an excuse not to run.  But, the payoff of running will only come to those who keep going.  You will have bad days when life kicks you in the teeth.  Get back up and get with the program.  Don’t waste the mental energy beating yourself up.  Think about why you started and how far you’ve come.  When your body begs you to stop, your mind can keep you going forward.  Some helpful hints to keep motivated include:

1) Keep a written record or your training and keep it where you can see it.
2) Find a fitness friend- at the gym, online, family, ect. 
3) Read inspirational stories about people who overcome challenges. 

Even elite runners have hard patches in their training.  They say that after they’ve built up their base mileage, it comes down to pushing themselves through excruciating bouts of discomfort.  You too will have to reach inside and find that inner toughness.  Research has shown that our pain threshold is not a concrete level.  The mind to some extent can control how you perceive discomfort.  I’m obviously not suggesting that you ignore sharp or nagging pain which could indicate an injury.  Even though I’ve been running for years, my mind and body still try to play tricks on me.  The first 3 miles are so hard.  I feel stiff, sluggish, and my mind asks, “Why are you doing this to yourself?  Maybe you should just stop and walk.”  I’m sure you have similar things go through your mind and this is the point to tell that negative inner voice to “SHUT UP.” 

This is when you start listing your payoff and reminding yourself how awesome you are!  And never doubt that you are a winner.  Just by dedicating yourself to training for a marathon puts you in a very small minority of people who take on this challenge.  Repeat after me, “I am strong, I am powerful, I am a marathoner!” When you cross that finish line and the medal is put around your neck, every second of hardship is going to be worth it.  Your life will be changed forever.  Billy Blanks (Tae-Bo guru) said, “Where you are today is where your mind put you, where you’ll be tomorrow is where your mind put you.”  So, think about what is going to be your motivation, your payoff, and let’s get going!

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