Posted: by Jo Sunday, 10 February 2019 @ 13:53
I have run the London Marathon twice, both
times for charity. And through all my training and the run itself, the most
useful piece of wisdom that I was given was this: you run a marathon with your
mind, not your legs.
I didn’t really know what this meant, until I
was getting towards the end of my training, the first time around, when the
distances started getting truly testing.
The point is - running for that long is hard.
Of course, your body wants to give up. Your legs ache, your lungs feel like
they can’t keep going, you get cramp, your arms are getting tired. But your
body will keep going. It hasn’t reached the end of its range yet. You are
training it to keep going.
But your mind?
Well, that starts telling you that it’s time
to stop. To slow down. To have a little rest. What harm would it do to walk for
a bit? In fact - we can stop all this pain and discomfort by stopping, just
here. Wouldn’t that be nice? It’s just too hard. You’re really not built for
this kind of distance. In fact, let’s just call it quits right now.....
And somehow, you have to fight back against
that voice in your head.
Because as soon as you start believing what
your mind is telling you - you’ll find it harder and harder to keep going.
You’ll be tempted to walk for a bit. Or have a little rest. And then, it’s so
much harder to get going again. And within a hundred metres, your mind will be
at it again: reminding you how good it felt when you walked for a bit. In fact,
let’s do that again, right now...
So - the single most effective thing you can
do is to arm yourself beforehand with some powerful mantras, to use to overcome
the voice in your head.
Create or find a few phrases that resonate
with you, and learn them - to use to drown out that voice:
‘I don’t quit when I’m tired, I quit when I’m
‘My body achieves what my mind believes. I
believe I can do this’
‘This is what I came for, this is what I
‘I run, because I can’
or ‘I run for x (name of person you are
honouring or fundraising for)’
‘I am stronger than the rest’
‘If it doesn’t challenge me, it doesn’t
‘I am strong, brave, fearless’
‘I have magic in my muscles’
I had 26 mantras, one for each mile. They
kept me focused, they distracted from the pain, and they drowned out that voice
that wanted me to quit.
luck to all the London runners this year!
not treat yourself or your friend to a ‘Body & Mind’ necklace, and have
26.2 engraved on the back, to celebrate their achievement?