Expert Marathon Motivation advice from Adam Magnan

Expert Marathon Advice

Marathon runner, currently starting the Marathon Des Sables - Adam Magnan knows running and with 30+ competitions a year he knows how to stay motivated. 

With it being Marathon season around the corner and our monthly theme for motivation focus we thought it would be the perfect time to give you the best insight into staying motivated the way a pro does.  

Also, just so everyone is clued up the Marathon des Sables is a multi-stage adventure through one of the world’s most inhospitable environments – the Sahara desert.

In just six days he will run over 250km (156 miles) through endless dunes, over rocky jebels, and across white-hot salt plains. The sun will be at temperatures regularly reaching 50°C.


How do you maintain motivation throughout training?  

I always have a training plan including; diet and relaxation.

This enables me to focus on training.

If for any reason I fall off track, then I picture the next race/event and imagine how I will feel when I finish. The best way to stay motivated (for me) is to declutter.

Focus on the training plan and manage everything else separately. Plus, I love training so it isn’t difficult to stay on track.


How will you keep motivated throughout the race and push through ‘the wall’ especially when you feel pain?

 I prepare for the wall. I know when it is due, and I welcome it. Once I hit it I drive through it with mental strength (remembering how I always get through it and that it is only temporary).

 In addition, I have a few tricks:

  • I use a balm (the focus one) as a trigger to push forwards
  • I also have a note that I pre-write to myself, something like ‘You are a machine’ or ‘Make yourself proud’. It really works for me.
  • Also – never forget to smile and remember how lucky I am.


Do you have any mental tricks that make you run better? 

 Apart from what is above, I have lots of personal mental tricks to help me compete better.


I picture a dashboard in my head with all the elements I need

  1. How are my legs doing
  2. How is my fuel doing, when do I need food?
  3. Hydration monitor
  4. How is the breathing etc.

I also concentrate on my pace, the terrain, the time and my position. This keeps me race focused. Also, I revisit other races, normally when I did well and remember what I did and how I felt. Races that I struggled I push away to be dealt with as a learning process.  


What’s your reason for running? 

At first, running was my desert Island, my escape, when I felt contentment and freedom.

However, it has evolved through time to be more about being out with nature (90% of my running is trail) other competitors (the running community is a wonderful group), and the general excitement of events. Plus, I am competitive and like to push myself to extremes.  Running has given me so much. Fitness and wellbeing, friends, strength, a place of being and some of the place I have run through have been stunning.

What reason could a person have for not running?


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