A very experienced marathoner and triathlete once said that runners should be able to carry on a conversation during long training runs. This may make some of you a bit nervous at first (trying to catch your breath), but you will get better at it, and will be more comfortable on my long runs and enjoying your time with my training partners.
The lesson learned can easily apply to you as you prepare for your race at the Outer Banks. It involves defying some restrictions that your mind might have placed on your body, and realizing that you are physically ready to handle what’s in store for you on November 13. Learn the three lessons here, and repeat them to yourself during the race if needed.
The mental battle is the toughest. We’ve all made it through tough decisions in our lives. Now it’s time to make the right decisions for your body by applying some mental strategies to your training and the race. You have been training too hard to let muddled thoughts break your focus. Whether 26.2 miles is a new challenge for you or you’ve completed the distance before, doubts somehow manage to creep in. Think positively as you train—you are laying the foundation for your race. Force unnecessary doubts out of your head. You will have more support on the streets of OBX than you’ve ever had on any training run. Spectators, volunteers, and other runners will be everywhere you look. If you don’t let your mind get in the way, those crowds will help push you to the finish line, as fast as your legs can go.
There are solutions to any problems that arise. You are not going where no man or woman has gone before. You will, without any doubt, experience challenges in the final weeks of your training and on race day. But there will be solutions to any issue you’ll face, both in the days ahead and along the marathon course. It’s normal to feel anxious about what might happen, but if you address problems now and work out the kinks as you train, your mind will be positive and clear on race day.
You’re as prepared as you’re going to be. You know how well you’ve trained and how long you’ve been working toward this goal. Your body can feel it, and now you just need to get your mind to believe it. As you head into your taper, keep reminding yourself that you’ll be prepared when you arrive at the starting line. Planning for things to go right is the healthiest way to get there.