Monday, September 1, 2014

Find Your Marathon Moxie

If you're training for a fall marathon then many of you are now about halfway or a little over half-way into

your training. Many of you are feeling some doubts about your training. Yep, you are not alone.

Runners are a warm, caring, sharing group, but often when we begin to feel doubt about our abilities, we hold this info within. So, know you are not alone. Others are feeling the same doubts and lack of confidence.

Also know, this is common. We are often our own worst enemies. Training is tough. It's a huge time commitment. It's a lot of wear and tear on your body and mind. About half-way through your training, is the toughest part of your training. You're into the longer runs. The speed work is longer/harder. You're body is still acclimating to the demands. You're feeling tired, worn out, fatigued. When this happens, your brain goes into preservation made letting doubt creep in. Are you good enough? Why are you making your paces? You suck!

It's hard to fathom when in this pit of self-loathing, but things are about to get better. You will pull out of this pit. Does this mean charge on and run yourself into the ground? NO!! Listen to your body. If you need a rest day. TAKE IT! Rest is a good thing. If you're fatigued mentally and/or physically a rest day will do you much more good than that speed workout. But don't confuse taking a rest day for buying into thinking you're not good enough.

Evaluate why you are fatigued. Are you doing other things that are draining you? Can you get rid of those? Should you really have done that 2hr crossfit session the day before your progression run? Are you properly fueled? Hydrated? Have you been getting enough sleep? Was it a bad day at work? Was the temperature 90 and the dew point 75? All these are things that we may or may not have control over but have effects on your training. Also remember that a plan is just a prediction, a guide, a schedule to guide you and help you reach your ultimate goal. It's not law cut into stone.

If you're having doubts, I want you to do some reflection. Sometimes writing down and documenting all that you've done during your training can visually confirm all your hard work and the commitment you've exuded over the past several months. This doesn't have to be a long and tedious task, just use a brainstorming web like I've done here. Once you see all that you've accomplished there's no way you can doubt yourself! (See my attached pic. This is a web I did a while back when I was training for a marathon.)

According to, moxie is the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage. It goes on further to say that the term was used as far back as 1876 as the name of a patent medicine advertised to "build up your nerve."

Too bad there's not bottled "marathon moxie" that you can gulp down just before a workout or race. Man, whoever invents that will become a millionaire! Until that day, marathon moxie does not come from a bottle, it comes from within you.

Having a marathon mantra is also a great way to remind you of your marathon moxie during the race. When the going gets tough later in the race, having a mantra to repeat to yourself can really make a difference. I've done this during many a race and it really works! I'm not sure if it distracts you from the pain or if it actually causes a physical reaction that overrides the fatiguing of your muscles. Really doesn't matter as long as it works.

So, be thinking of what kind of mantra may work for you. Here's a few ideas.
• Trust. Believe. Conquer!
• Can't Stop! Won't Stop!—Janel
• No regrets!
• If you don't, you rust!
• I'm a running machine, not going down without a fight!
• The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
• Relentless forward motion
• Make Mom proud!
• Run like you're being chased!
• This too shall pass.
• Perpetual forward motion
• Not today, I will not be broken.
• Not if. When.
• I will keep on.
• Define yourself!
• Not everybody can do this!
• When the going gets tough, the tough get going. So get going!
• With God all things are possible, so you CAN do this!
• I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
• Do this today and you can eat your weight in chocolate tonight!
• Of course it's hard, if it was easy everyone would do it.
• I hate you Thad. I hate you Thad.


SD Mom said...

Great post! Starting Full training for my first in October to be completed in February. So excited anxious and nervous. My mantra has and will always be "Just Move!"

Jolene said...

Recently I realized it hurts more to stop! That's become my new mantra.