This training tip comes from “The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer” by David Whitsett. It’s an excellent title for a book as the inclusion of non-runner and marathon shows that anyone can be an endurance athlete.  

The book talks about visualization and how to use it as a survival method. As distances get longer in your training, your body gets tired and negative thoughts start to creep in.  The mental aspect can make or break you.

David Whitsett suggests creating two short mental videos and using your mind as a video player.

The first mental video should be about the best training walk/run you’ve ever had.  Where did you go? What did you see?  What did you wear?  Who was there?  What was the weather like? How did you feel?  Think of all your answers in detail and then use them to create a mental highlights video. 

The second mental video should be about the finish line you will be crossing. What will you look like?  What will the sea of people look like?  Who will be there? What will the weather be like? What will the crowd be saying as they cheer you on?  How will you be feeling?  Create a mental video highlighting the finish line. 

Now on your training walks/runs when those negative thoughts come into your mind, take the negative video out of your mind (actually physically toss it away) and play one of these positive videos.  You’ll forget all about focusing on the negative and feel some instant energy. 

The more you practice visualization during your training, the more useful it will be should you need it on race day.