Breaking Down the Walls
Breaking Your Marathon Into Sections
Running 26.2 miles is a LONG way! In life, sometimes the only way to get through trials is to break it up into several small victories until you can plow through to the end. Each runner is different, so create your own segments. But here is an example of how I break up my marathon so that mentally I can finish strong.
Be ready for those aid stations! When you have a chance to grab a drink or a Gu, grab it! Your body is likely going into depletion mode and could use any blip of sugar it can get. If you feel yourself falling off pace, look for energized people on the sidelines. If someone is clapping on the side of the road, give them a fist pump into the air. These are the times I pretend that everybody cheering on the sidelines, is cheering for me. We all pick up the pace when we see someone we know, so keep your head up as, ‘everyone is cheering for you!
I have to break this one up into a shorter segment because this is where I hit my wall. Focus on your form. There is no need to waist energy at this point, so make sure that your form stays in-tact. Keep it positive. This is when those negative thoughts of “Oh my he** this hurts” (I know, I usually have a pretty clean mouth but put me in a marathon and for some reason they all come a flyin!). For every negative thought, follow it by a positive such as, “Oh my heck this hurts, but I am strong and I CAN FINISH!” or “this hurts but it’s the hurt that makes it worth it.”
Here is where I bust out my pre-created Mantra (A mantra is a word, or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation” (wikipedia)). A few mantras I’ve used are “I am strong” or “I got this” or “I can do this”. I repeat a syllable of my mantra with each step i take, OVER AND OVER again. This keeps your legs in rhythmn and more ecspecially, on pace.
Almost there!!! 2 miles is nothing! Once I get to this point, there is no way in Hades i’m quitting now! Even if I literally have to crawl across that blasted finish line! Focus on your face (sounds weird right?) If you look like you are dying from how your face looks, people will pitty you. When people pitty you, you see it in their face and you start to pitty yourself! “yes, i’m hurting, poor me, I think I could sit on that curb you are standing on and cry right now.” DON’T DO IT!!! Finish strong and take pride in yourself!
Slap on a smile and as people see you accomplishing your goal THEY WILL CHEER FOR YOU! Even if you don’t know them!! That is what makes the marathon community awesome. When they tell you “you can do it!” or “Almost there!” you will feel more empowered. Loose the grimace, throw on a slight smile, and enjoy the fact that you are minutes from finishing a marathon!