Leslie Kay

Overcoming Running Roadblocks for the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna®

Running is a mind-body sport that challenges your psyche as much as your body, particularly for runners who are training for long distance marathons. While working to achieve a new race milestone, runners often experience a range of high and low emotions before finally crossing the finish line. In fact, experts say running is 90 percent mental.

While training, or while competing in a marathon, runners hit mental barriers that may derail them from succeeding. By recognizing these roadblocks, you can prepare yourself to move past the hurdles and continue on for a successful and rewarding experience.

Here are tips to help break through those mental barriers and achieve your goals:

  1. Stay positive. Often, mental barriers include negative thoughts or self-doubt. When you find yourself being pessimistic, turn it around by reminding yourself how hard you’ve worked and how much you’ve achieved so far. It took a lot of hours, hard work and sweat to get to where you are. Celebrate yourself and the people who inspired you reach this milestone moment.  

  2. Focus on yourself, not other runners. By accepting that some runners will be faster, and some slower, concentrate on your own strengths and maintain a positive attitude to push you through the race. At the starting line, focus on your pace and avoid the mistake of running with everyone. If you need a focal point on the stretch run, identify someone running about your pace and follow them. You’re going to the same place!

  3. Keep your goal in mind. Trying to achieve a new running time? Adding extra miles to your run? Participating in your first marathon? Visualize yourself achieving your goals and think of those who inspired you onward and had your back throughout your training. This will help keep you motivated and soon you’ll feel the wind at your back and the finish line within your sights!


For information and tips about potential mental roadblocks and how to overcome them, check out the infographic below, which details a runner’s emotional journey during a marathon.

Cigna® is the presenting sponsor of Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend and Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend.