What is it about running a marathon? Why do some dream about it, others suffer through one mumbling never again – and some can’t get enough of them. 8 letter word attitude. Come on join me it’s a good 15 minutes coming your way I promise
Yes: today’s show is going to shed some light on how one distance, one event can provoke such different reactions in a group of people that share the same passion, namely running.
And I know, there always are some runners’ that have worst case scenarios in regard to a marathon.
Those runners’ (an inexperienced coaches’ nightmare) that have heard stories 99% of the time hearsay about THAT runner, their friend’s friend, or cousin’s uncle, that wanted, or tired, or failed miserably at a marathon.
And the storyteller, of course added a bit of drama. A little more spice to the story. Obviously, we all love a good story don’t we? Losing toenails, swollen feet that are similar to the elephant foot disease. (Actually, I spent some years in India, and there would be beggars on the side of the road sitting and showing off their elephant foot. Ugh made me shudder. Where I was, yes, the negative storyteller other blogs I have heard are constant body pain, upset stomach, the man with the hammer during the last 3 ⁄ 4 of the marathon.
Yessss. My name is Heiko. I have run a few, and spoken to those that ran many more than me. So let’s go.
Of course, look, it might be that you suffer. But, a lot of that probability or a way to reduce the likeliness of one of those situations can be avoided with proper training and preparation. Means those stories that circulate you can reduce it to a typical guy challenge
- “let’s see if you can run a marathon without training”
- “I know I can run without training! I will make it”
And make it they might. But the price they pay is no there is no price, the runners’ with that mentality they WANT a story. Attention grabbing.. There are two videos on YouTube that I just found. No it’s not that I researched it, I just searched for how to run a marathon without training. One video has 1.5 million views, and the other video 2.5 million views.
In comparison the video “How to train for a marathon” which by the way is a pretty informative video has how many views? Guess: well 170.000. One hundred and seventy thousand.
Can you handle it? I mean I am really shocked to hear that. It is unbelievable. I cannot get my head around it. Why on earth, no one on earth ok I am getting worked about nothing. Let me calm down.
Fact is, horror stories are really not what you should focus on or lose sleep over.
More likely you will train to such a level that you will be able to finish. Might not be a pretty finish. Might not be the run you hoped for but.. chances are you finished it.
Ok. Now can we move on to the other scenarios. The ones you should be focusing on. The possible outcomes that are aligned with your goals. And here at this stage I want to ask you: are you still dreaming about running a marathon? Wondering every so often what it would be like? How it would feel if finally, one day you did it. Maybe it is your secret dream. Secret because it is like you just don’t want to share it. You are really not full of self-confidence even though there are moments where you have a warm feeling and catch yourself seeing pictures in your mind of you approaching the finish line you are getting closer, you can read the letters F I N I S H aagh yes really great.
But somehow your dream never went into reality. It never grows in a before and after part. Let me explain.
Having a specific moment in time that inspires you is great. It is important. And not only do we use it for inspiration, to be drawn to it, it should give you some intrinsic power.
But aaah you knew there was a B U T.
If you just go and buy one souvenir from your exotic holiday destination you saw it at the gift shop, you wanted it, and you bought it.
Then when you got home you didn’t have a place to put it. I mean you have space. Bookshelf, or by the window, on a desk? It is then that you realize, it doesn’t fit. The other items in the room don’t allow for this souvenir to get settled in. Ha! And in the end, you move it to a guest room, or worse, the cellar, until it lands in the garage and then at your local bazaar.
Guess what it is the same with your inspiring vision. The one you read about in your favorite running magazine.
The picture you have in your mind, no matter how you are convinced of it, is a scene. One single snapshot of a bigger story.
Same with the souvenir. I remember my German teacher who absolutely loved living in South Africa. Unfortunately for me my parents and I lived on the same street. Can you imagine being 12 and you see the teacher every time you go outside?
Point is, it was his first international posting. He had never left Germany before, and fell in love with the country.
Over the years, he traveled a lot, and always brought back some wooden Giraffe, or Bow and arrow. And believe me, even as a kid I could see it didn’t fit in his otherwise very German decorated household. It really looked weird.
And then he or his wife must have noticed, in one room in his house, he had a complete deco of local art, paintings, pots, bows and arrows, you name it. And it was so impressive. Really. Even as a small boy I could understand that this design felt right. We didn’t have such a room. Say no more. LoL.
The same with your running dream. If it is a picture, a snapshot in your mind of how you cross the line, you need to add something. A scene before that and a scene after it. You need to make it complete. Whole. A concept.
Why? Well for the same reason the deco on its own doesn’t fit, you need the whole deal.
Just dreaming of that finish line, or the medal hanging next to your bedside is mainstream goal setting. Instagram success steps, LOL. Yes I am trying to be funny and make a point. Rather than thinking there is anything noteworthy out there on Instagram that will help you cross the finish line, rather go and exercise. That definitely, no matter how small or short, gets you closer to your marathon. See, the photo in your mind needs to be changed into a moving image. It is just the imaginary starting point of what can be a great journey. If you aim for a sub 3:30, and you are coming from a 4:00 hour marathon the system is the same. You need to ask yourself better questions. How will I be running at the halfway mark? Well, how do I see myself running past the first 10K mark? What will happen if scenarios.
And don’t just limit these thoughts on yourself and your running pace. You might be stuck behind a group of runners that for some or other reason are causing you to get distracted. Perhaps even you decide to feel irritated. Unfortunately, this has happened to me. Sometimes I am stuck behind a group of runners that talk so loud and usually want to be hero stories, uuuugh, or in Italy I clearly remember it, one fellow marathon runner had his car keys in his pocket I could’ve strangled him. LoL don’t ask me why? Keeping it real here. I could have. Even making me smile now as I recall it. Jingle jingle all the way. Who keeps his keys loose in his pocket anyway? Seriously. Or the worst you are stuck behind someone who just has terrible body odor. And no, not at the last stage of the race, I am talking about the start. Dreadful. Again, I digress. Back to the topic
Picture yourself running through those milestones, the last 10K the beware stretch between halfway and the last kilometers. Have a clear impression in your mind of how you want to be running from KM21 to 37 KM. What is the picture in your mind’s eye you want to have? For a first timer. What do you want your friends and family members to see when you come by? For you, the runner aiming to improve your finish time, you will agree that it will take a different stance, a more powerful stride to run faster, yes? So do you have an image in your mind as to what that will actually look like? That your brain can tell your body what it is supposed to do during that section of the marathon.
Oh I am sorry if you were expecting a blog where the marathon is glorified, with the aim to divide those that have run one and those that haven’t sorry for the wrong show. No, that’s not at all what the show is about. Nothing worse than that actually. Too many sites out there that fall into the comparison trap, or no, they want to make one.
This is not about groups, or medal collectors or who is better or who is worse. This is about the attitude.
Now there we have it.. whether you dream about running a marathon, ran one, or plan to run many more its your
There is nothing more important than what you decide to put inside your brain. If you put in horror stories, and scenarios that did not finish well, guess what you will be focusing on. Ok, I must admit most searches online are dramatic stories. I mean good news doesn’t usually make headlines, does it? The runner who reduces his BMI to a healthy level, and spends the next year training acts with constant incremental training plans. And then progresses from 5K to 10K and suddenly realizes the half marathon is possible even faster to then cross the marathon in a sub 4:00 time. That’s not a great blog article, nor will the search engines give this a lot of clicks. BUT, that type of information, which is out there, will ensure you get your brain set with the correct attitude, and expectations.
Some facts to give you inspiration, to help you reflect on your own story.
The youngest person ever to run an official marathon. What do you think? Hint, apparently this happened in 1977. Wesley Paul from Columbia participated and completed the NY marathon in 3:00 hours. Apparently there were quite a few kids running marathons. Whow. Oh and he, Paul, ran his personal best at age 15 in 2:38. Impressive.
Oldest person to run a marathon. Careful if you search this somehow google will suggest you the first ranked site: that the oldest person to run a marathon was at age 84. Hm. I mean that’s impressive, but somehow, I thought someone older had that title. Then only if you read the article, it states that the 85-year-old finisher was in reference to the Antarctica marathon. What an accomplishment.
So the oldest person to run a marathon is Gladys Burill, age really if I tell you this there is no possible excuse .. no way out, age 92.
Then there are some people, who I don’t even know how to put this. They have a really inspirational story to share and hardly tell it. There is a lady in Denmark, who despite an illness that would have most people just curl up and cry, decided to do a one year run streak. That by itself is a big enough challenge and she set out to run a marathon every day. And if I recall correctly she ran 2 marathons on the last day. Whow, high five.
The same with a runner from Belgium, he also set out on a one year running streak, a marathon every day and guess what a couple of weeks into the endeavor he got injured. Waited till he got well, and then he started again. This time he finished without any injury and had a huge fan base.
Point is, the people I mentioned didn’t have a huge Instagram, or facebook site with thousands of followers.
They did it for a reason, and not for attention grabbing. For a purpose, a cause that was important for them. Their ideas took shape over a long time. Doubts had to be overcome; route logistics had to be decided upon.
Don’t worry I don’t want you to go for a marathon a day challenge. That’s not the point. Point is that there are a lot of marathons an average human being can run. And please, think before you clap for a “I ran a marathon dressed in a costume” come on. Sorry if that is your claim to fame, and now you want to profit from it. Remember the word 8 letters.. ATTITUDE, that’s what it is about.
That will define you as a runner.
But you, you, are currently thinking about whether you should or should not run that marathon. And you, who’s thinking whether that PB you have can ever be reached et a new goal. And don’t set yourself a limit. Prepare, in such a way that your whole picture is complete and changed into a movie. A mental motion picture. Oh and if you are thinking about perhaps doing a running streak. But you are not yet sure why and if, we’ll come back next week. Having researched this running streak business means you will get some great content next week. Ok.
Thanks for joining me on today’s show, I thank you for your support. New readersers, stay tuned, the show grows on you, I promise. readers in over 32 countries or 36. Ups need to check
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God bless you, and remember, Take It Easy.
So what are going to do in the NEW YEAR? Make 365 days run, one whole year of running Why who or what would you want to do that? And if your first thought is “I couldn’t do that” then definitely you should get the book. The link to the video you know what.. just go to youtube, enter “heiko stribl” and concentrate or you will get sidetracked and end up somewhere you don’t want to be.