Thursday, 23 August 2012

Marathon Training Thursday - Mind over Matter

This is the real secret to distance racing.

So much of long distance running is about mental stamina, as much as it is physical endurance. A lesson I learned while running my last race.

When I took the plunge into distance running this past March I did so under a certain amount of duress. I was at my breaking point during the weeks leading up to my half marathon. And while the race was a great distraction from the surgery and all the other thoughts I had swirling around in my head - it was not my focus.

So when I found myself struggling at kilometer 17 - I had nothing left to give. There was no push left in me. I didn't have the energy to push through the pain and the fatigue. I couldn't dig deep. My second wind was used up long ago and on other things.

The results I battled for that day show a girl whose body could do better, but whose mind could not.

Deep down I knew this, but running my 15km last weekend really drove this point home for me. I felt a little down after my tumble by the lighthouse, and my legs were getting tired. But on this day, at this race, this girl knew she had more to give.

I spent the rest of the race building myself back up.

I chanted my intention over and over again.
"Take PRIDE in how far you have come. And have FAITH in how far you can go". 

With every positive affirmation I felt myself growing stronger.

I knew I could push hard to the end. Not because my body was exponentially stronger this time around, but because I believed I could.

So as I crossed the finish line on Saturday night I could hear the voice in my head chanting,
"Push! You run this body! F**k Genetics! You are stronger than this! Push!"
And you know what? I really believed it.

So as I strive for Marathon Glory, I am going in with an open heart and a strong mind, and that is going to make all the difference.

Let's Make It Happen!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,


  1. I completely understand the mental block you're talking about. For me it's the weirdest feeling - like I'm suddenly BORED and can't fathom finishing and it takes everything I've got mentally to push through it (which is disheartening all on its own, especially because I love to run and I know that physically I'm doing just fine. Blarg.)

    I ran the same race as you on Saturday and the last 4km were brutal if only because my mind wasn't having it. I guess I need a mantra of my own to help me as I continue with my half marathon training.

    1. I LOOKED for you! I was totally hoping to see you. Next time we need to exchange numbers! How did the race go?

  2. Great lesson to learn and look how well you applied it! It is so, so true with running. I read a quote recently that said running is 90% physical/10% mental--but don't ever discount the importance of that 10%.

  3. So true. The mind can play such tricks on you -- but if you can get it to believe what you want it to believe, it can be a great asset. Great job!!

  4. Love how you willed yourself through your last race. The mental side of running is something I've really been trying to focus on as I get ready for my fall half marathons.

  5. So much of it is mental. I'm only running 3 miles now but I'd like to do a half BUT I have such a mental block when I think about it. I keep telling myself that would the equivalent of running to work & then I freak out. I need to work on that!

  6. You are so positive :) love it. I know for a fact running is mostly mental for me so once i tell myself just to keep going i do it!

  7. yes, yes yes!!! I can't stress this enough when people ask me for training advice. There are definitely going to be rough moments, but if you can keep finding your motivation or positive words then it helps so much

  8. mind over matter right here! way to fight!

  9. You got it!!! You rock Krysten!

  10. Love this!!! You're attitude is amazing and you are totally going to rock the marathon, thanks in part to your positive outlook!!

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