Finishing a marathon is rewarding. Starting a marathon and charging through it is where the hard part comes in. It can feel long, tedious and pretty exhausting. While it is inevitable that you will feel tired during a marathon, to help keep your determination up from the very start to the very end, here are some marathon training motivation tips to try.
Stay determined with these 7 great marathon training motivation tips
1. Take Baby Steps
If you are new to running, you can’t just jump into a long running session. Nothing will deter you from marathon running faster. You need to take baby steps to ease yourself into it and work within your limits.
Some ways of taking those first steps to enhance your marathon training motivation include alternating between walking and slow jogging for the first few runs. Then slowly start walking less and include more running intervals. By working at your own pace, you can steadily progress without feeling demotivated or defeated.
If you are unsure of how to approach your training, there are even fitness apps available that provide you with half marathon and full marathon training plans to help ease you into it and gives you instructions on what to do in a sustainable way.
This will prevent shocking your body into a full-blown marathon run, and help increase your cardiovascular levels and endurance to eventually be able to complete the entire marathon.
2. Focus on Short Goals
It can be very difficult to remain upbeat when you think about how long you have to run. Whether it is 10km, 20km or more, thinking about all the kilometers you have left can be really demotivating.
Instead, focus on the kilometer that you are currently on and concentrate on getting through that. It breaks down a large goal into smaller and much more achievable goals by removing the mental barrier of psyching yourself out by the gravity of the task.
3. Make a Playlist
There is nothing quite like a playlist that can get your blood pumping and body ready for a good workout. Music with an average tempo between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) has been shown to be the most rewarding for runners and gym goers (music with a lower or higher bpm does not have quite the same effect). It helps to get you in the zone to boost marathon training motivation.
Not only that, music can direct your awareness away from your running exertion by distracting you. Ultimately, making a music playlist of your choice of songs can help to improve your physical performance, helping to make the goal of finishing the marathon much more attainable.
4. Record Your Runs
A great way to keep motivated while training for a marathon is by recording your runs. It will give you actual data to work from so you can make improvements with each session.
Having this information is also beneficial for your marathon training motivation as it will give you valuable insight into how far you have come. It is inevitable that some days, you won’t feel like working out and going for a training session. So by seeing your progress, you will boost determination and confidence.
It will also eliminate the problem of comparing yourself to others. By recording your runs, you will only work on beating yourself and your previous personal best time and run which is very motivating in itself.
5. Find a Support System
Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep yourself inspired throughout your run. This is where the power of a workout buddy comes in. Having a friend to give you support can be really valuable. They can come along with your runs if they are also training for a marathon, or even just do half the distance with you.
If you can’t find a friend who is interested, then an alternative is to join a running club in your local area. Being surrounded by like-minded people can be very inspiring and encouraging. This can really help with your marathon training motivation.
You can also join online communities with people who are interested in marathon training as well. By connecting with others with similar interests as you, you can really find a great support system. Not only can they help you, in turn, you can also help them.
6. Incorporate Rest Days
You need to make sure that you include rest days in your training regime. It is important to give your body the rest it needs to recover, otherwise, you will exhaust yourself and this will be detrimental to your progress. By having time to recover, you will be able to tackle your next day of training with newfound determination and energy.
7. Reward Yourself
Training for a marathon doesn’t have to be all hard work. You can keep training fun by making sure that you reward yourself for your efforts when you hit certain milestones. This may be in the form of new workout clothes or shoes, a fun movie night and cheat meal with friends, or a nice and probably much-needed sports massage.
Having great incentives can also you keep inspired and make finishing that marathon, that much sweeter.
By knowing how to keep your marathon training motivation up, you can make a difference in how you approach your training. It will help that break down that mental obstacle of a long and tedious run into something that is much more achievable.
Zen Labs Fitness offers half marathon and full marathon apps that help with your training. It consists of an audio coach that prompts you on when you should walk or run. This is really beneficial, especially for beginners, because this way, you can ease into your training and make consistent progress.
What other marathon training motivation tips do you have to share? Leave us a comment below, we would love to know!