Health and fitness professionals like to inspire their clients to commit to a big fitness goal that allows them to overcome mental limitations that they have sometimes unknowingly placed upon themselves. Committing to something big like running a marathon can be scary to new runners who have a difficult time visualizing running 26.2 miles all at once. Having a good personal trainer or running coach can teach you how to improve your brain power to get over the mental obstacles in your head so that you can be successful at the marathon distance. Veteran marathoners often agree that the first half of the marathon is run with your legs, and the second half of the marathon is run with your brain. This means your marathon training plan will include how to improve muscular strength and endurance in addition to improving mental strength.
Both muscular strength and mental strength play a big role in training for a marathon. Training hard physically helps runners develop muscle, strength, endurance, and strengthens the muscle tissue around the joints to protect healthy joints. You will learn how your body reacts to training and recovery and will learn incredible things about yourself that you may not have known before. You may discover inner strength that you have not seen and that keeps runners running and motivated for many years. The mental strength refers to digging deep when you’re tired. Continue and persevere until you reach your goal with success. A popular fitness quote is, “I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I reach the finish line” portrays the mental strength and toughness of a distance runner.
A lot of the mental blocks can be overcome by staying on top of your nutrition and hydration. The average runner requires between 200-300 calories per hour to prevent their glycogen stores from being completely depleted, also known as “hitting the wall”. The average runner also requires between 12-16 ounces of fluids each hour to prevent dehydration from occurring. Water or sports drinks can be used to prevent dehydration and each runner has their own personal preference. A licensed nutritionist or trainer with certification in sports nutrition can help you with your nutrition to help support your training plan.
Running a marathon can be a life changing experience. You learn a lot about yourself and learn skills to improve mental strength that can carry over in other parts of your life. Go big with your fitness goals this year and commit to running a marathon! Learn more about becoming a certified Running Coach by clicking the link below.