I ran a Marathon with the help of a Sport Psychologist

No one gets a place in the Virgin London Marathon through the Ballot, do they? So obviously I was gobsmacked, when I came home to find the “You’re In” magazine. Disbelief was the first emotion I felt followed by Fear. I had only ever ran a 5km ‘parkrun’. I wanted to do it but I was overweight, so that made running quite hard. My husband had brought me a gym membership the previous Christmas with some Personal Training Sessions but I hated those sessions and only went to Pilates (Pie’s & Latte’s sounded perfect).

By the time Christmas came I hadn’t trained any more than 8km in any one session. I found it difficult to go for a run and my eating habits were shocking. Even the fear and uncertainty surrounding the Marathon still didn’t spur me into training. Then something came that worked, my husband’s present to me on Christmas Day. It was, 8 Sessions of Sport Psychologist Support for the Marathon via “Skype” or “What App”.

I started the first session on January 1st 2018. A new year, new beginnings. The Sport Psychologist started by listening to my fears, anxieties and lack of motivation. He taught me strategies to help control my emotions, get me motivation and manage the discomfort of running. He guided my training. He broke the process into stages and told me what I should do between now and our next session in two weeks time. After every two weeks I fedback how it went. I never had to think more than two weeks ahead. I couldn’t believe how quick my self confidence grew. I managed to have a more balanced approach to everything. Training didn’t seem hard and each time I went for a run I though about what I had been told and I knew that I would be reporting back. Everyday wasn’t perfect e.g., when the ‘Beast from the East’ came I had to revert to treadmill sessions, solutions were always found for any problems.

I decided to shared my runs from Strava privately with my Sport Psychologist. My Sport Psychologist would look over my Strava runs and discuss them each session. In my case we also talked about my unhealthy eating habits, especially since I was overweight and I tended to overeat on unhealthy food when I was stressed, sad or bored. Together we identified personal strategies to help me eat healthier foods and reduce episodes of unhealthy by identifying triggers.

The training continued not only did I run a Half Marathon Event but also a 20 mile Event as well. I never would of expected I could do either. I ran all of the Half Marathon and in the 20 mile Race I only walked up a few hill. I was amazed by the positive change in myself. I was confident and proud of my training achievements. My parkrun PB was now down to 27.04. I could do a full plank for 2 minutes. I had lost almost 2 stone just from healthy eating and running. I had one final session just before the Marathon, where my Sport Psychologist took my mind though the final preparations e.g., accommodation, meals, reviewing my multiple goals, talking about my very own personal “if, then” plans e.g., “If I want to stop, then, just repeat to myself put one foot in front of another and think of my husband’s face.” If I’m feeling tired, then, I may be dehydrated so drink at the next water station.”

The Marathon finally came. I could type so much about that hot, hot day, but to sum it up….it was hot, very hard and my Sport’s Psychologist words were in my head the whole time. I couldn’t of been more happy with my performance.

For sessions Contact: andylane@winninglane.com

£50 per hour

£350 for this Marathon Package of 8 session (one session free).

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