So, you want to improve your marathon time. You really want to excel and go from a current 3:45 to a 3:20 Boston qualifier. First off congratulations for setting such an ambitious goal. It’s usually those types of goals that unleash something positive and powerful inside of us.
Hi, my name is Heiko and thanks for joining me on Advanced Endurance Coaching, where we are all about improving the mind especially if you are a coach and would like to be able to reach more runners’. It’s here where I want to share you with you my passion for training and developing mental skills, whether you are a runner looking to develop consistency, or you want to go for a new personal record, this is the place for you and if you are a bit sceptic because of the word MENTAL, hang in there as there might just be that nugget you have been searching for.
Now back to that 3:20 marathon.
If you don’t know what I mean, “unleash your potential” you should follow the steps in this video and start off by setting such a goal and develop a feeling for what I will not be able to convey in a video. You need to do it.
First thing is don’t let self-doubt or intimidating pace calculations creep up. Suppress them if necessary and keep your focus on what you want to achieve. Because you will need unwavering faith in your fitness and your abilities.
Ok, but maybe this is exactly where you are stuck. Given the importance of self-belief and not being intimidated by fast race times, how do you recondition your mind to rethink what you think is possible? If you’re facing a time barrier you just can’t seem to conquer, what strategies can you implement to take the next step?
That’s an excellent question. That is the missing link between words in a self-help book, and actually doing. So, congrats, you are on the correct path.
First thing to do
Condition and strengthen your mind so that you break the goal into smaller bites. Start to concentrate on achieving a powerful time for a 10K. Let’s say currently you are running a 5:22 pace.. that’s kilometers. Which gives you a 10K time of 53 minutes.
You won’t be able to just get your time down to 4:40 in an extremely high-volume training session. It will take time and new approaches to your training. Shorter Distances, using your heart rate as guidance, and really learning to pace yourself. Speedwork, Interval training. But hang on, that’s actually step 2.
Step one: First, condition your mind to know that it can run 4:40 pace , then develop it until you can hold that speed for 10K. Then, continue to train your mind and body so that the same pace eventually becomes manageable for a half marathon. Keep making these small steps in your mind (and, of course, your training) and you’ll soon consider 4:40 per kilometer to be a feasible marathon pace without having to take a huge leap of faith.
To do this, you need to say goodbye to your current training buddies. Yes, a heartbreak moment. You need to find a faster group. Why? Well the biggest gain is that you will get a new mental understanding of and transform your perception of pacing and race times. Plus being around runners’ who already accomplish these times, will give you the necessary conviction that you too can do this.
Succumbing to the awe of faster paces and how unbelievable it can seem to run that fast is often what leads to racing plateaus and time barriers that runners can never quite get past. Being aware of this phenomenon, understanding that other runners go through it as well, and implementing specific strategies to get over the mental hurdle is critical if you want to take your race times to the next level.
The mental hurdle of being in awe of faster paces and seemingly unachievable goal times isn’t unique to beginner runners attempting to improve from a 4-hour marathon to a 3:30 marathon. Elite runners, even those with great run times, use such an approach to get their results.
Find more tips like this on resetrun.com or in our online mental running tool course. An in-depth 4 hour video course, along with an easy-to-read guide to understanding mental techniques for runners’ in depth. It comes, along with our R.E.S.E.T.® branded coaching certification.
My name is Heiko! Thanks for reading and remember: take it easy.