Discover Your Mindpower and Boost Your Ultrarunning Performance

The subject of using mindpower to your advantage in ultrarunning training and racing is an extremely interesting part of ultrarunning.

It is indeed another keypiece that completes the ultrarunner's package. Other, equally essential components include adequate training and nutrition geared to your needs.

Yet, establishing the mental strategies that let you finish an ultramarathon and key training sessions to your expectations are a must-do in order to continue with successful ultrarunning.

How you define success is a very personal matter and so is your mindpower. It is embedded in each of us. The moment of truth shows when we make use of it in ultramarathon races. What works in one race might not work as effectively in another. Therefore, working on the mental aspects of your ultrarunning lifestyle is training in itself and needs to be incorporated into your routine.

From experience, you'll have a much easier and more enjoyable time in any ultramarathon if you have fully prepared your mind.

The more talented runner can be outrun by a less talented one if this runner is not only better prepared in his mind, i.e. he has worked on his techniques and strategies and is able to recall the patterns when most needed, but also has been working a lot harder in training than the talented one that presumes he doesn't have to work too hard on either part.

Successful ultramarathon finishes are barely just down to being purely talented. A fatal way to think in ultrarunning terms.

It goes as far as stating that some ultrarunners happily run through the first half of a race, cope okay in the third quarter and eventually quit on the last ten miles.

Why? In some cases the physical fitness isn't quite there but mainly battling the mind takes too much of a toll that it simply doesn't make sense to keep on running. Only to find out later that once the mind had time to recover, there might have been 'something' left in the tank.

Can you identify with this pattern? You know you've trained well and comes race day, the mind drifts off, the body eventually shuts down and after all, it just wasn't your day?

On the other hand, ultrarunners that are in big pain during the second half of a race will finish if they are fully prepared in their mind.

First and foremost, you run an ultramarathon for yourself and compete with others as opposed against them. Neither are you fighting your inner self. Mind, body and soul must predominantly work in tune with each other.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. There are many ways to get out of that spiral.

Accessing and applying your mindpower is an intense and repetitive exercise. It takes time to go through the process of manifesting a strategy tailored to your needs.

Again, patience is the key!

First, here are some common mistakes that demonstrate an inappropriate use of mindpower:

  1. Deciding on race day that you'll be okay; 'I'll pull through somehow' might be a common statement
  2. Sticking post-its with positive affirmations on your desk, kitchen cabinets, bedside table and in your car three weeks or less before an ultra marathon
  3. Supreme confidence implying that you're tough by nature and will never hit that famous wall
  4. Following someone else's pace in an ultra race hoping to be able to keep the pace to the finish

About 95% of ultrarunners claim to hit lows and often very, very low points during a race.

But what keeps some focused and motivated while others hit their mental boundaries much sooner and as a consequence pull out of a race?

The difference is that the better you have established your mindpower the more you'll sense the absolute certainty that reaching the line is only a matter of time.

But how can I get to the point where the mind becomes my ally and my closest friend ?

You may want to start from scratch and take a look at the following questions:

  1. Where do you see yourself in a particular ultramarathon?
  2. Do you tend to focus on the sounds around you or how you feel? Thirsty or hungry, warm or cold?

  3. Are you more visual and unconsciously tend to focus on the colours of trees, houses, roads and even the sky?

  4. How do you perceive what goes on around you during running?
  5. What attracts you to a particular race? Is it a race in the mountains that fascinates you or maybe an event that takes place in vaster landscapes?
  6. Do you prefer running in the heat or rather in cool and cold temperatures?
  7. Can you excel better in bigger races with lots of spectators around or prefer the solitude of a low-key race?

  8. Have you decided to enter a specific ultrarun whole-heartedly being willing to do what it takes to finish or set a new personal best for yourself?

Sit back, relax and dedicate some time to answer these questions. If you already own the complete ultrarunner's package, there are some more powerful tools that support your mindpower and let you thrive even more.

Discover the power of paraliminals. The benefits are simply amazing. Another relaxing method of accessing your mindpower is to meditate regularly.

The advantage of all of the strategies mentioned above is that investing only 20-30 minutes three to four times a week will make you feel differently in your attitude as an ultrarunner and unravel your passion for the sport from within.

Aim higher, gain confidence and know your strengths.

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