Don’t you love when you have an epiphany while running? My epiphany occurred last week after my 22-miler. You’ll recall (or maybe not) that I didn’t listen to my mind during my 22-miler, just my Garmin and my legs. I didn’t want my mind to feed me negative thoughts, tell me to slow down, etc. So, to the best of my ability, I tuned it out (it’s not easy). Then came the epiphany:
mind = subjective
legs = objective
OK, let me explain this one. We all know how powerful the mind is over the body. And we all know how important your mental game is to an endurance race. Sometimes it’s more important than your physical training.
During a race, our mind spews negative thoughts and signals our legs to slow down.
Truth: most of the time, our legs have more gas in the tank than we think.
Before a race, our mind preys on our nervousness and we pace, walk, stretch until go time to make sure our legs are ready.
Truth: our legs are ready. And we waste precious energy by pacing, walking, and stretching.
During the taper period, our mind conjures up phantom pains and we begin to think we are injured.
Truth: you are not injured (it’s the taper crazies!).
The mind seems to be very subjective, don’t you think? So why do we listen to it?
On the other hand, your legs always tell the real deal. Ever have one of those runs where you leave the house thinking this will be the run of your life, only to get slapped with a major case of brick legs? Or sluggish legs? The legs don’t lie.
Which brings up another question. How do you distinguish between the two? Are your legs really tired or is it more mind over body? During training runs, I think this is simple. If you’re not having the best run, take a look at your mindset. Are you feeling meh? Is your mind somewhere else? During races, it becomes a tad more difficult since you’re pushing the pace and your legs may be close to exhaustion. This is the point in most races when people either give up or dig deep.
Come Sunday, I’m digging deep and listening to my legs. They will be my greatest ally (along with my Garmin). And my friend Fatigue 😉
Do you agree? Do you think the mind has more control than we think? For me personally, I know it does. It’s way more mental than physical.
Please keep voting for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger (click here to vote). Voting ends on Friday, September 9th! Please vote every day this week!