When I signed up for my first marathon, the thought of running 26.2 miles in one shot, without stopping, seemed impossible. How would I do it? Through one run at a time, I trained for my goal race. When I doubted myself or my motivation waned I looked at the inspiration board I had made.
An inspiration board can be a great visual cue to help you stay focused as you train for a big race. Sometimes the process of making the board is just as powerful as looking at it when it is done: searching for inspiring words and mantras is a great way to practice positive self-talk, something that makes the difference between pushing through and giving up on race day.
Here’s how to make your inspiration board.
1. Get Crafty. Gather up old magazines and catalogs. (This is a perfect way to recycle your Women’s Running Magazines!) You’ll also need a piece of poster board cut to the size you would like, a glue stick, scissors and method to hang your poster.
2. Choose a color. Choose a color that will provide the background to your board. You could simply pick your favorite color or choose a color based on how it can influence your mood. For example, red represents energy, blue can be calming and green can stand for balance. Cut or tear pieces of this color and glue them to your board as the background.
3. Word Hunt. Flip through each magazine or catalogue and search for words that you find inspiring, like strong, fast or confident. You can piece together words to create mantras of phrases that you have used in the past. My favorite is “Embrace the Hill,” which reminds me to lean into challenges. Arrange the words you have found on top of your board.
4. Hang it Up. Find a prominent spot to hang your inspiration board. Maybe in your bathroom where you’ll see it first thing in the morning. Or if you have a home gym, hang it there. Look at it frequently and let the positive messages you’ve created sink in. They will come in handy on race day!