Some of the toughest endurance sports around the world are more than exertion challenges. You have to run or bike across uninhabited planes and terrains for days, and you have to fend for yourself. Athletes train for years in preparation if these events but very few of them pay attention to the psychological aspect of these endurance races. Mental breakdown is one of the major health concerns for marathons according to experts. Here are a few tips which you could follow. These tips will enable you to stay calm and focused for the marathon that you have been looking forward to.
In other words, leave emotions out of it. Emotions are what seduce us into making rash decisions during races which do not end well, and it is these same emotions which also make athletes give up. Remember that it is not the pain that forces you to quit but the emotional response to that pain. Long endurance races require us to perform at our peak and plan the race from the very beginning. Emotions often get in the way of that. It is best to know your limits and rationalize before and during a race.
Stay in the Moment
It is impractical to vision the finishing line as the race starts. Ultra-endurance sports are truly daunting. It is tempting to focus on the outcome rather than the moment and that distracts you from the race at hand. Stay focused and focus on the challenge at hand. If it is an ascent that you are facing, you need to be focused on that rather than the descent which will follow. If you do this, then it will rid you of any performance anxiety that you might be facing.
Mantras work. This might sound look nonsense to you right now, but in an endurance race, when the challenge is slowing stealing your energy and your rationale from you, these mantras will keep you focused and they will give you the confidence and trust in your abilities which is so important for winning races. There will be voices telling you to quit, to give up or to stop to take a breath. Shut those voices up with your mantra and regain your focus.
One of the major psychological health concerns for endurance sports that often times, there is not enough motivation for the athletes to push their bodies to the limits. A mantra motivates you in even the direst and most challenging of situations.
In a marathon or a cross-country, thoughts manifest themselves as physical outcomes, which is why an optimistic mindset can be game changing for you. The fact is that when you start to think something or saying something, after a while, you will start believing it. Make sure that it is the positive things that you believe in. One great way to battle pessimism during an endurance race is that whenever you find yourself muttering or thinking a negative thought, you have to compensate with five optimistic versions of the same scenario! It is a better strategy to envision what is possible rather than what is impossible during a race.
This mindset and training philosophy is just as helpful during a race as it is before a race. Only optimistic people are willing to put in the effort that transforms them from mere enthusiasts to proper athletes.
Visualize the Race
For many people, preparation for a marathon or a bike race means hours on the treadmill or the local track. With that, many athletes are not prepared for the race day scenario. They are not able to adjust with the hundreds of other athletes, and this loss of focus is the reason why their energy depletes quickly and they start haphazardly and without planning. To be mentally prepared for the final day, it is important that you should visualize every scenario about the race day possible. You will be better able to adjust to any unexpected weather conditions, you will be able to adapt to changing circumstances and you will not lose focus.