What do you wonder as you stand on the starting line of a marathon? We all wonder and sometimes wondering leads to fear, fear of failure, or just of the event that you signed up for.
Sometimes we wonder because we are nervous or even afraid. Nervous whether we trained enough, and fear of what might possibly go wrong.
But sometimes wondering leads to courage. Sometimes wonder leads to discovery.
Some of your biggest breakthroughs in running began with you wondering. So, wondering gives you the ability to project something into the future. And sometimes you can tell what other people are wondering about.
Hy my name is Heiko and thanks for joining me at advanced endurance coaching, where we are all about your mindset and your mental attitude towards running, especially if you are over 40. Why well, over 40 the body needs more time to recover, and so many runners settle for less. I believe your best running is still ahead of you.
If you get the chance to travel to Munich during October. You don’t need to do any sightseeing. Why? Just run the Marathon instead, and you will get a great tour of most of the impressive sights and sounds of this beautiful city.
I want to encourage you as a tourist or English speaker, to get to know some of the great marathons that are on offer in Germany. A marathon distance is just as long for any runner.
But Munich is well organized, it should be in the Capital of Bavaria.
The race has about 20.000 participants every year. And it is held in the Olympiapark. Means, your first sightseeing is already done if you just line up at the start.
And exactly at the start I had the bad luck of being caught up in a group of runners’ I hope I never meet again
But hold on Munich race day
To get there, plan some extra time, whether you arrive by car or public transport, you have to walk quite a bit to get to the starting area. October the weather might be tricky, when I ran it was a cool start as it had rained the night before. But eventually the sun came out and It was one of the nicest runs ever. But be prepared if you are not so used to the cold to take along extra clothing.
There are starting blocks, and a bit of a hustle and bustle at the start, as the route does get narrow and quite a few runners need to pass through this narrow section.
This group of runners’ there was one lady who had an extremely powerful voice and she was somehow the pack leader of her posse of runners’. She was obviously excited, and I presumed that she just wanted to get rid of race jitters. By talking. Unfortunately, you couldn’t “readers away” like if you don’t want to see something, just look somewhere else. No, I was stuck, unable to understand every single word. And I can still tell you today what she was wondering about.. She was talking about injuries, and “the man with the hammer”. She was very specific, and went through great detail to explain to her new-be marathon runner friend that this “will happen if she doesn’t watch out”. Usually I am quite good at ignoring people, but this was something else. She could’ve or should’ve gotten an Oscar. Best performing actress.
She was also just behind the 3:30 pacer, and I realized I will need to move past her once we get started.
Finally starting gun went off
The lady kept on talking “not a big selection at the aid stations”
After a slow first 2 KM the route heads into the famous Leopoldstrasse lined with poplar trees and in the distance the Siegestor. The victory gate. It is a three-arched triumphal arch crowned with a statue of Bavaria with a lion-quadriga.
If you want to take a photo, many runners actually did, you will pass this street another two times during your run, so no hurry.
First turn comes up and you head back the same way.
Guess what, I am still stuck with this lady and her horror list of injuries- story.
I tried to distract myself.
Then Mediterranean wall decor, and sculpture of various office buildings or schools really shows that Munich has style.
Then next thing you find yourself running through the English Garden. It all started in 1789 when Elector Carl Theodor ordered that a public park be established along the Isar River. He put the project in the hands of the Briton Benjamin Thompson, who worked at the time for the Bavarian Army. The park was given the name Englische Garten because it was laid out in the style of an English country park.
If you don’t know it. The Englische Garten offers numerous leisure time activities. Cyclists and joggers train on the 78-kilometer-long (48.5 miles) network of paths, and amateur soccer players meet on the fields for recreational games.
A beautiful vista of the city even with a Japanese teahouse first opened in on the southern end of the park on an artificial island in the Schwabinger Bach (stream). But the best part was, the traditional Bavarian music that was playing, you heard it from afar, with the sunlight shining through the trees, and you were running on soft tarmac. Really perfect conditions.
Guess what I still heard her. “After KM25 I usually struggle. Last marathon I was overcoming nausea” I tell you the list went on and now you can say, ” Heiko why didn’t you just accelerate well in case you haven’t noticed I am an endurance coach, not necessarily a fast marathoner.
A fast marathon for me is 2:30 or 2:45. Also I had decided on running at a certain pace, I didn’t want to mess up my marathon just because of some other runner.
But then at KM15 it got quieter .. you cross the Isar river heading eastwards.
Then there is the so-called “Isarhöhe”. The height of Isar yes, it’s 30 meters of elevation. So nothing to worry about.
In every Big city marathon there are stretches of kilometers which are not so interesting or even boring. Well this is the case during 17 – the half marathon mark. Weird you pass through an agricultural field.
Hardly what, 20K east of one of the most expensive real estate locations.
Finally, you reach the half distance. Weather was improving and the sun shines on the blue and white banner as you head past the east railway station. Until KM 27 it is just a focus on maintaining the pace. Sightseeing is not an option as it is compared to earlier, a boring stretch.
At 27 KM there is another aid station, this one even had energy gels. That’s when I remembered the lady with the loud voice what utter nonsense she was talking about.
Then the route takes you past the Munich cultural area. It is here where speeches are held, the Munich philharmonic plays, and a beautiful indoor swimming pool.
You pass the German museum, which is worth a visit, as you head into the center of town. You pass another theater, and the bunker which during world war two would house over a 1000 people seeking shelter, and head towards Sendlinger Tor.
Next up is the Marienplatz, tourist runner, this is your moment. You can also spot the Frauenkirche at 31KMark.
Basically, to sum it up you run past the major touristic highlights. All the way until 37 KM to 40KM mark now you have a long straight line that will lead you to the stadium grounds. Please note the grounds, not the finish line.
The last 2KM takes you through the Olympic grounds, now this is the place where the 1972 Olympic games were held, so the sights here are famous too. The TV Tower, the impressive roof of the Swimming arena.
Once you have crossed the whole park, you need to enter the stadium and nearly still do a full lap. Which was a bit of a disappointment as I thought the stadium would be packed, but there are not so many spectators on the seats. Obviously, it’s not a concert, it’s the finish line of a marathon.
Still under applause and hearing my name over the loudspeakers, I crossed the Finish line. I achieved my time and was a happy tired runner.
Now if you ever run this marathon, I recommend that you do. Pay attention as this is valuable advice. get your medal and now the biggest challenge for some runners’. To get out of the stadium you need to walk up the whole of the stadium’s stairs. unless I missed another exit. So save some energy to climb that flight of stairs, and to get back to your car.
I still hung around for some time, saving up energy to climb that flight of stairs, drinking an energy drink as you do after a marathon, and guess what. I heard her before I saw her, the lady with the loud voice unbelievable still “talking like a champion” well talking wise around the final meters of the Olympia stadium, on her way to the finish line. I just had to watch, observe and then it struck me.. .she looked finished. Depleted She and her “crew” didn’t look happy at all. It looked like a desolated bunch. Her run was nothing more than a shuffle, a low painful to watch “one foot in front of the other”, like from a WW2 movie, prisoner walk. She crossed the line and dragged herself over to the first aider and promptly lay down on to a stretcher. Next thing she was whisked away, and I was thinking to myself a self-fulfilling prophecy. She dreaded the finish “the man with the Hammer ” and talked herself into this state of mind.
Look, whether you have some mental tools that you use or not, I am sure that you will agree with me.. wondering about what all will go wrong is a waste of time. Projecting and thinking of possible scenarios of “what might go wrong” is not the best use of your imagination. Definitely not worth your while, but sometimes if we don’t train ourselves mentally, we are prone to such behavior. No, not as extreme as this lady, but hey, if left untreated, that’s what will happen. LOL.
If you are interested in how to use your imagination, your mental imagery skills, develop them to serve you better and in the process becoming a better stronger runner especially if you are over 40. More details please visit our website hypnorun.com where I offer a detailed online course with over 4 hours video lessons, a complete online learning tool developed for runners’ obviously by a runner with over 35 years of experience. Don’t buy the course if you are into darts, or curling, this is not for everyone, really for those that realize time flies over 40 and it takes that mental edge to remain a strong runner.
My name is Heiko. Thanks for reading! and hey would you give me a like, so the show gets some exposure to those that are looking for such kind of material.
Thanks, and remember, Take it easy.