Use these motivational tips to boost your run at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon 2014.

1. Join treadmill university

“The rhythms of treadmill running boost learning,” says running coach Matt Barbosa. Use an easy run to rehearse a speech or listen to a podcast.

2. Strike like a ninja

Listen to your stride: ninja good, elephant bad. Lean forward slightly as it will help you touch down on your forefoot. Not only will it be more efficient, your joints will thank you.

3. Zoom up hills

“Taking it easy up hills might be best for the less trained runners,” explains Bosch. “But the top of the hill is a good time to attempt to mentally ‘break’ an opponent.”

4. Find a partner

“Stick to more popular running routes like promenades and parks (or join a running club). You’ll often see regular faces,” suggests MH Girl Next Door Amelia Frenkel.

5. Ignite your stride

If you’re tiring during a run and need a mental boost, imagine you’re on hot coals, says running 
coach Jeff Galloway. 
You’ll definitely speed 
up your stride!

6. Create a mantra

Think brief, positive and instructive. For instance, says US Runner’s World editor-in-chief David Willey, to fight fatigue when powering up a hill, think: claw the ground.

7. Shift to walk speed

Run for four minutes, walk for 30 seconds. “This helps when you’re not as fit as you should be in a long race,” says Professor Andrew Bosch of the MRC Research Unit at UCT.

– Men’s Health & Runner’s World staff