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Mental training ramps up

May 18, 2011

I just read a great quote:

“You run the first half of a marathon with your legs – the second half with your heart.”

 ~Dean Karnazes

 The Team in Training coaches say that this quote holds true for half marathons as well. My spin on this is you run the first half of any race with your legs and the last half with your heart/will.

I know this will be true for the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon. I just checked my countdown clock and the race is 18 days from today. 18 days?!? Time is moving REALLY fast.

Lately, I’ve been concentrating on the physical side of training. I’ve been rehabbing injuries and focusing on form. However, there is only so much that I can do with the physical so I’m ramping up my mental training. It’s not that I haven’t been doing mental training, but I am looking for ways to get me “over the hump” during the race.

I’m going break down the 13.1 miles into 3 minute intervals – 2 minutes running/1 minute walking. This should keep my legs fresh enough to finish. However, I think the mental side will need to kick in at several key points. At the start line — I don’t want to get pulled into running faster that I’m able just because others are running a faster pace or because I can see the sweep truck over my shoulder (haha). Probably around Mile 7 since this has been the point when the ITBS starts rearing it’s ugly head. I’ve been strengthening my adductors and hip flexors, and focusing on form so this milestone may not be a problem. Definitely at Mile 10 since this the the farthest distance I have run to date. The way I see it is when I get to Mile 10,  I’m only a 5K away from the finish line and I run 5Ks all the time. They take me about 40-ish minutes to complete so I guesstimate that I’m about 45-60 minutes out depending on how my legs feel.

I’ve been reading a lot of books written by ultrarunners and endurance athletes. While a half marathon isn’t an ultra by any stretch of the imagination, the writers have great tips on how they keep going when their body just wants to stop on the side of the road. I just got 5 new books to read (OK I admit that I like to read), and I’m sure they will have great info. I’m also going to read one of the biographies on the day before the race. That always puts in me in a positive mindsetto run.

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