Monday, August 8, 2011

More Mental Than Physical

True or False ?

- You can't walk during marathons at all.
Not true. In fact walk/run is a proven technique to stay injury-free.

- You need a strong core.
Very true - read Aparna's post.

- Humans are not made for long distance running.
Very funny. Don't believe it. It's a scare tactic.

- Marathon is more mental than physical.
Amen! Couldn't be truer. (More about this in a minute)

- To run a marathon, you should start young or should've been a runner your whole life.
Nope. Not true.

I could go on and on. But a simple google search of "Marathon Myths" will surely quench your thirst and quell your doubts.

In this post, I want to share my experience about the "more mental than physical" aspect.

I recently ran the 10-mile Muddy Paws trail race - my very first official race. The idea at first seemed daunting. But I have a confession - I had a LOT of fun. And I know why.
The preparation for the race itself started almost a week ahead and my check list looked something like this.

The week before ...
1. Put in all my scheduled runs throughout the week.
2. Proper diet of course (less fiber and more carbs as the week progresses).
3. Laundry. Funny as it may sound, you don't want to be stuck with whatever you can get your hands on on the race day. You gotta wear what's comfortable.

The night before ...
4. iPod. Fully charged and with the right playlist. Songs that keep you pumped.
5. Fuel Belt - Water, gatorade and GU energy gels.
6. My lucky hat
7. Directions to the race location & gas in the car
8. Inform your friends / loved ones (in case of emergency).

On race day ...
9. Breakfast of the champions.
10. A nice, long warm-up.

After the race ...
11. A longer cool-down.
12. Chocolate milk - to replenish (and celebrate!).

Its like a strategy game and you are getting ready for battle. All you need to outwit the enemy is the right attitude. And with so much thought and preparation before the race, there is no way in hell your attitude is not that of a winner. And of course it goes without saying ... attitude decides altitude. Or even distance for that matter.

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