If it’s your first long distance race such as a 10K, half marathon, or marathon you’re going to need every bit of motivation to get you to the finish line. Here are 5 simple ways to boost motivation to keep your feet moving in the right direction:
Try to make your first long distance race one that draws tons of racers and spectators.
Hopefully, when you selected your first big race, you chose a widely popular race. The bigger the crowds the more noise and excitement and the more spectators you have wishing you onward to the finish line.
Tell your friends and family your race day pace so they can be at the finish line.
Marathon runs are making it easier and easier for you to track where a runner is at during a race. Some have live track systems when a runner reaches a certain point in the race it reads the chips and then sends out alerts in the form of emails or texts to supporters that have linked to that runner. This helps so you don’t have to stand at the finish line waiting and have a better approximation of when they are supposed to cross the finish line. An alternative is to simply ask the runner you’re supporting what time they plan on finishing. If they have trained appropriately they should know what time they will cross the finish line, within a window of about 20 minutes. Smartphones wired to GPS watches also have live tracking capabilities such as Garmin Connect or Strava.
This was sent to me by one of my subscribers, Angela K. When I raced my first marathon at the Cowtown, they place your name on your bib. During my race I had several people refer to me as “Scott.” This idea takes it one step further by WRITING YOUR NAME IN HUGE LETTERS WITH A LARGE SHARPIE. Obviously, you want to use a shirt that you don’t mind permanently ruining. Also, to save shirt space, pin your bib on your upper thigh.
If it’s your first half marathon. Write that on your shirt as well.
If it’s your first marathon or half marathon, why not write that on the shirt as well. “1st Time Marathoner.”
If your race has pacers, find them and stick with them.
Another reason to pick a big race is so that you can use a pacer. Pacers are volunteer veteran (normally) runners that can hold a finishing time within a minute or two. They normally hold up a sign or wear a certain shirt labeling their goal finish time. I’ve even seen a balloon floating behind them in one of the races. If you’re aiming to finish a half marathon at 2 hours and 30 minutes, then simply keep ahead or with the pacer for the 2-hour 30-minute mark. The paces are usually offset at the 15-minute mark although I have seen them at every 10 minutes as well (i.e. 2 hours – 10 minutes, 2 hours – 20 minutes).
Bonus: Before the race, meditate for 5-10 minutes.
When you’re in the corral waiting your turn to start the race. Close your eyes and envision yourself crossing the finish line. Embellish the feeling you will have when you cross the finish line. Meditation will help focus your running and clear your mind of any negative thoughts which can help boost motivation before the air horn signals the race.
Read this quick article on boosting your motivation: You Vs. You – Who Will Win?
Scott Morton is the author of, Beginner’s Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3) which has become an Amazon international #1 bestseller. To sign up for a FREE half marathon training schedule, log sheet, and pace predictor click here.
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