February 17, 2012


So after realising where I was going wrong the other day, I attempted a bit of a mental reset and so far it's worked. Yesterday's run was an example of this and I realised a few really important things...
  • Marathon training is not supposed to be easy
  • I'm not the only one that has ever felt overwhelmed by marathon training... it's supposed to push you
  • I need to stop giving myself such a hard time, and just do my best
Yesterday I ran without my Garmin or ipod (the ipod wasn't intentional but it was dead as a dodo) and it did me the world of good. I didn't need GPS as I knew exactly where I was going to run and run it so often I know how far it is. I hadn't realised how much I look at my watch for distance and pace and I really enjoyed this run without that subconscious pressure. It was mild outside but not too hot, I could run comfortably in a singlet and shorts and the only thing I could've done with was a drink half way around!
Here comes the bit that made the difference though... Instead of analysing how far I had left to run (and torturing myself with it) I thought about how I should go about raising some money for the YAMND. Once I'd tackled that (which took about 9km by the time I'd thought about it then repeated everything enough times to commit it to memory), I occupied the rest of my run (7km) with thoughts about positive things. These things are varied in their subject matter but I would only think about something if I was thinking about it in a positive way. I set myself some rules where 'can't' and 'won't' and similar negative words were banned from my thoughts. If they crept in I'd have to find a way of expressing what I was thinking in a positive way (all the time this is keeping my mind busy and I'm not thinking about how far I've run and how far I have left to go!!)
If I ran out of things to think about I would repeat positive phrases, almost like a song, through my mind again and again. Running up hills involved 'I can do this' 'I am strong' and 'hills are awesome!'. (Rubbish song, I know, but it got me up them and I didn't stop at any point though the full 16km!). I noticed that in order for this to work I had to approach it as 'I can do this' rather than 'you can do this' as that would make me feel like I was telling someone else.
Somehow these things got me through the full distance comfortably with no desire to quit and no physical pain. Although this all involves admitting that I talk to myself (though I don't think it was out loud except maybe when I was going uphill), it does prove that my problems recently have been in my head and not with my physical ability!

'Our greatest battles are 
with our own minds'
                               Jameson Frank


  1. A mental reset is always a good thing for me! Thanks for stopping by both of my blogs, I am a new follower of yours as well.


Please leave a comment :)