Mental Power

Have you ever considered the following: Why can we run a maximum of 20 miles and it feels tough in training, but then we can go out and run a 31 mile race?

There are probably lots of science-based answers concerning the training process… cumulative fatigue… tapering…. race day adrenaline… blah blah blah. But I think there’s something bigger than all of those things. The biggest thing is your mentality.

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It’s all about your frame of mind. When you head out determining to run from point A to point B, your mind and body are on board – they adjust somehow. You mentally accept that you’ll be out there for 6, 7, or 8 hours. That’s why you can do it. The mind is a powerful thing.

I’ve run an ultramarathon. That doesn’t mean I can go out for a 15 mile run and not be tired and ready to be done at mile 15. Why? It’s all about that frame of mind. I set out to run 15 miles and on that day that’s as far as I can go.

Distance running is a metaphor for life. We adjust to whatever is in front of us and whatever we are up against. And each time, we find a way to keep going.

How do you get in the right frame of mind?

5 Comments

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  1. That is true! No matter what distance I am trying to run when I have been training, I just want to done when I get close.
    I have always thought if I ever to get a run a marathon, I know I expect to be out there a long time, so I just need to be ready to cope. I hope my body gets on board.
    Karen recently posted…Talking Beauty TodayMy Profile

  2. You’re right, if I plan to run 15, I usually just want to run 15. If I feel like going farther, than I feel like it’s a bonus. If I had planned to run 16, then it’s not really a bonus mile since I planned it, though. Happy running!
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…Brick Workout TodayMy Profile

  3. Well, that explains it.. Training for a marathon is really tough, that’s for sure..
    Ivan Jordon recently posted…ultimatestrengthandconditioning.com – Stonger Season Strength ProgramMy Profile

  4. Back when Bill and I were training for marathons, we’d set out for a twenty mile run and then as we were finishing I’d say, “Let’s run another two miles.” He hated that! He had his mind wrapped around a twenty mile run, and really had trouble adjusting to any more miles. Thinking back, I can’t say that I blame him! 😉
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…A Little R And RMy Profile

    1. I bet he did hate that! I’m sure it helps with mental toughness, though. 🙂 Especially on a day where a race ends up being longer than you were expecting.

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