This Mental-Strength Strategy Will Get You Through Your Race
Running a half-marathon is about more than putting the miles in. Work on your mental strength, and you’ll have a better experience.
Here’s how you can use your training runs to successfully prepare for the mental and emotional challenges of race day!
Top-level runners use visualisation as a key part of their training all year round. But this technique works for everyone, even if you’re training for your first half marathon. Once you harness visualisation, you’ll see what a powerful tool it is to help you with motivation, energy, and even pain.
How To Visualise During Training Runs
Using visualisation during training can prepare you for race day. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between a vividly-imagined experience and a real one. So let visualisation get your ready for race day, without needing to travel to Windsor and run 13.1 miles!
Think of it like an actor rehearsing his lines over and over again. Visualise the race in specific detail. Take your time, and imagine the sights, sounds, feelings, and even the smells.
You might need to do your homework, if you haven’t run this race before. We have lots of information (including photos) online. Use images, videos, or even Google Earth to add specific accurate detail to your visualisation.
How will you be feeling at the start line? What will you be wearing? Will you be to one side or in the middle? What can you see? What does it all sound like?
When the race starts, how does your heart rate feel? Do you feel excited, nervous, energised, powerful?
By creating a vivid mental picture complete with feelings, sounds, smells, sights, and emotions, you can prepare your mind and body to stay calm, happy, and positive on race day. Even if the real thing feels chaotic or confusing, you will be able to tap into your visualisation and have a more successful race.
Do your homework, so you can visualise how you’ll react to different variables.
Weather: will it be hot, cold, rainy? How will you feel about any of those options?
The course: take a look at the Windsor half course, so you can mentally prepare for the hills, flats, fast sections, and finish area.
The scenery: the Windsor half takes you through some stunning settings, so train your brain ahead of time and it will be ready to appreciate them.
Numbers: have a look at how many runners we are expecting, so you can visualise the crowds (and the support!)
Visualisation can also help you prepare for any eventuality – including things not going to plan. We’ll cover that in another blog post soon.