Mental Power

Have you ever considered the following: Why can we run a maximum of 20 miles and it feels tough in training, but then we can go out and run a 31 mile race?

There are probably lots of science-based answers concerning the training process… cumulative fatigue… tapering…. race day adrenaline… blah blah blah. But I think there’s something bigger than all of those things. The biggest thing is your mentality.


It’s all about your frame of mind. When you head out determining to run from point A to point B, your mind and body are on board – they adjust somehow. You mentally accept that you’ll be out there for 6, 7, or 8 hours. That’s why you can do it. The mind is a powerful thing.

I’ve run an ultramarathon. That doesn’t mean I can go out for a 15 mile run and not be tired and ready to be done at mile 15. Why? It’s all about that frame of mind. I set out to run 15 miles and on that day that’s as far as I can go.

Distance running is a metaphor for life. We adjust to whatever is in front of us and whatever we are up against. And each time, we find a way to keep going.

How do you get in the right frame of mind?

5 thoughts on “Mental Power”

  1. That is true! No matter what distance I am trying to run when I have been training, I just want to done when I get close.
    I have always thought if I ever to get a run a marathon, I know I expect to be out there a long time, so I just need to be ready to cope. I hope my body gets on board.

  2. You’re right, if I plan to run 15, I usually just want to run 15. If I feel like going farther, than I feel like it’s a bonus. If I had planned to run 16, then it’s not really a bonus mile since I planned it, though. Happy running!

  3. Back when Bill and I were training for marathons, we’d set out for a twenty mile run and then as we were finishing I’d say, “Let’s run another two miles.” He hated that! He had his mind wrapped around a twenty mile run, and really had trouble adjusting to any more miles. Thinking back, I can’t say that I blame him! 😉

    1. I bet he did hate that! I’m sure it helps with mental toughness, though. 🙂 Especially on a day where a race ends up being longer than you were expecting.

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