Tag Archive | "mental preparation"

A few thoughts on mental preparation


I was asked to comment on how you should prepare mentally for an ultra marathon. This was written for a person that was going to go to the rainforest, so my thoughts are with this in mind, but are fairly generic anyhow.

– Take a sheet of paper with comments and well-wishes from friends. In the rainforrest it will be wet, so maybe you should laminate it? I find this an incredible source of strength when I come to low-points during the race.

– Write down 100 reasons for why you want to complete the event. Go far beyond the silly reasons and try to figue our the true underlying reasons that really inspires you to do the event. To the point of tears if you go there. Remember these reasons when you are in the event.

– I have a trick that I use when it gets dark and difficult… I have a place in my mind that I have trained to go into. For me it is my parents house where I grew up. I mentally go there and feel what the smells are, the sounds and try to activiate as many senses as I can. For me this works really well in terms of taking your mind off the pain / distance / etc.

I have a few books that I definitely can recommend to you:
1 – Mike Stroud – Survival of the fittest. This will give you great detailed accounts on what happens with the body during an endurance event, and how important it is with nutrituion and hydration. This scientific element is mixed with his personal experiences and is a great read!

2 – The Jungle Marathon: Ultra Endurance Running in the Heart of the Amazon by Mark Hines. This is a book from one of the competitors in the Jungle Marathon in Brazil. It goes through in details his experience and also talks about hydration in a jungle environment, you will learn a lot from this book.

3 – Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon . Great book that has short 3-5 pages experiences from 30 odd people about their ultra marathons. It will help you to understand the thought processes and the hardship that will come during your race.