A few years ago I had the  privilege to meet and work for the great Coach Pat Riley. It was his opinion that mental focus and attitude made the difference between any athlete and a champion. Winning is not based only on your physical fitness; you have to have your head in the game all the way to the final buzzer, or the finish line.

You’ve spent months building your physical fitness and endurance, now it’s time to check in with your mind and your spirit. Getting mentally prepared is strongly influenced by your diet, so keep up with all the tips that I’ve given so far. Become very aware of how you feel. These next few days before the race, keep your “eye on the ball”. Stay focused on your goal. Whether your goal is to win, place or just finish the race, do the things that make you feel good and maintain a positive outlook. If you find yourself becoming distracted by negative thoughts, change your environment and adjust your attitude.

Already you have accomplished something that few people actually have: you have trained to run a marathon. That alone should make you feel great. Enjoy these days leading up to the race. Whether you’re eating, training, working, or interacting with others, stay mindful of how you feel. On race day, maintain this awareness, and find pleasure in the journey of the race itself, from the starting gun to the final stretch.

I use this quote from Coach Riley as a mantra to raise my spirit when the going gets tough:

“Great effort springs naturally from great attitude.”


Yours in a good mood,

Dr. Susan Kleiner

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