Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mental Toughness and Willpower in the Marathon

That's what I've been pondering lately.

Well, to be more exact, I've been wondering about the mental toughness and willpower needed just to get to the marathon.

I'm on my eighth week of the Pete Pfitzinger Marathon Training Plan. I have 10 more weeks to go. It's hard.

Before I started the Pfitzinger Plan, I went through an eight week Intermediate Half-Marathon Training Plan, just to try to get my body into some kind of shape that could handle the rigors of serious Marathon Training.

And of course, before that, I did 26 races in one year...which you'd think might help one get into shape.

So quit whining and suck it up, right? Well, that's sort of my point. To date, I have. And I imagine I will continue to keep training hard. But it wears on you. I'm a pretty positive guy, especially when it comes to my running, but I'm going on six months of training now for a singular event...with a very singular goal. And negative thoughts creep in.

To wit, "there's no way I'm going to be able to keep this pace for 26.2," and "I really, really could use a week off right now," and "I'm way too old to be doing 50 miles a week," and "Am I insane?"

I keep telling myself, "of course it's hard, if it was easy, it wouldn't be Boston, right?" And that works. Usually.

Ten weeks to go.

Amazingly enough, I think I even wrote an article on Mental Toughness way back when. Can't seem to find my copy of it.

I need to look harder.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...


  1. I think you can :) if that helps. Mentally, I think you are a stud.

  2. Thank you. It's appreciated, believe me.

    I've found that hard training gets me just a touch bipolar. I bounce back and forth between "I'm in the best running shape of my life - I'm going to crush this thing," and "I am in so much pain - I don't know why I ever started this."

    It will pass...right around June 2nd. One way or another.