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Secrets to Speed: Professor Explains Psychological Marathon Training

In an online news update by the University of Tennessee (UT), a professor shared important tips about getting mentally ready to hit a race’s starting line.

Jedediah Blanton, an assistant professor in sport psychology, said that training starts in your head. “It’s easier to enjoy movement when you start realistically.”

“Find a reasonable and realistic goal for yourself, and if you’ve never been a runner, just start walking. Start with 10 minutes a day and work your way up,” he said in the UT article.

Blanton also suggests using SMART goals: specific, measurable, realistic and time-bound.

“Apps and running clubs can also help you think positively about running. But even if you train with a group, you should focus on your own pace, form and progress.”

“When you focus on how others perform, you are not actively aware of whether you are on pace with your goals or not, which can lead to burnout or exhaustion.”

He also indicates that runners should think about how their body feels as they run past every mile marker. In between, the mind can help to think about other things and take their minds off it as they run.

Blanton suggests thinking about the great breakfast that they will have later, or the lyrics to your favourite songs.


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