3 WA RM U P
If your brain’s in a funk, your body will follow: research conducted by exercise scientist Dr Samuele Marcora found that even subtle mood influencers can alter performance. In one study, Marcora flashed either happy or sad faces on a screen as well-trained cyclists pedalled all-out. The faces were flashed so briefly that they could only be recognised by the subconscious. Still, those who were exposed to the happy faces performed 12 per cent better than the sad-faces group. His findings support years of anecdotal evidence that athletes tend to perform best when everything is clicking – not only during a race or workout, but also in their lives beyond running. APPLY IT
Try to boost your mood heading into challenging workouts and on race day. This may mean listening to your favourite music, spending quiet time in nature, or hanging out with friends or (sometimes) family. In the week leading up to your marathon, remember that steering clear of negative vibes helps you cultivate a positive mood. So minimise life stressors: avoid (to the best of your ability) people who drag you down, choose comedies over tear-jerkers or horror films, and get the rest you need to feel 100 per cent.