“Running a marathon can be one of the hardest things to do because of its length and the breakdown of the body both physically and mentally,” says Billy De La Rosa, a New York City based CrossFit trainer who’s well-known for getting into his client’s minds and helping them achieve more than they ever knew capable. “However, keeping a focused mindset and being able to see victory in in your mind goes a long way. If you see it you will achieve it.”
You also have to think it, though. Of course, your mind will wander and start to think about things like how badly your feet hurt or why you ever signed up for such a long race in the first place, but when this happens it’s important to shift your focus.
When you’re battling through a leg of the race that seems to be getting the best of you, De La Rosa recommends repeating a mantra or a quote; a phrase or expression that will help to calm your mind and remind you of why you want to finish.
Recommended by several experts , these are a few motivation-boosting thoughts that every runner should think while running a marathon.
1. I've come along way now and I am doing this because [fill in the blank], and that is very important to me. I will finish this. —De La Rosa
2. “Yes I feel the pain. I know where it is coming from, but I will not let it get the best of me. I've trained many hours and my body is prepared for this. I can do it.”—De La Rosa
3. I want this.
“Wanting something can produce energy and ‘psychological flow,’” says Dr. Paul Baard, an organizational and motivational psychologist who specializes in sports psychology. “Needing something often produces tension, undermining intrinsic motivation."
He says that runners should never focus on “needing” to finish or rank highly. “If they think that, they are factually mistaken,” he said.
4. I feel good.
“My preferred mantra is the chorus of James Brown’s ‘I Feel Good,’” says Laurie Villarreal, a professional running coach and the founder or House of Running, a training organization that currently coaches nearly 200 runners a year. “I repeat this little ditty to myself anytime during a race and it gives me an instant boost."
5. Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
This quote from Theodore Roosevelt is one that nationally known fitness blogger/vlogger and Essentia Water Hydration Specialist Sarah Dussault used to motivate herself while running her first marathon ever in Chicago earlier this month.