|On the day, 75% of your race
comes down to your mental ability to cope with the stresses of
90km. I have listed a few mental guidelines for you to
consider. In no particular order, they are:
hours – No big surprise!
should be no big surprise to you. You are going to be on the
road for at least 10 hours, if not 12! What I am trying to
say here is this. If your watch doesn’t say 5.30pm, you are
not done. You are only done when you cross the finish line or
your watch says 5.30pm. So don’t be surprised when you look
at your watch and you have been running for 8 hours already.
It’s all part of the plan. It is a long day. That’s
what you signed up for upfront!
is the day!
favourite chirp of mine during the training months is “I’m sorry, I
thought Comrades was on 29 May”. The message in
this chirp is
that the race is a long way off and that it doesn’t help to try and
“race it” before the time. It’s about what you can do on race
day. As I mentioned in my Comrades morning
page, the first
thing I remind myself of on that morning is “THIS IS THE
DAY”. While I am running the race, I keep
about this fact and that I have to do it today, not yesterday or
tomorrow. On the day you have one opportunity. Get
it wrong an let me tell you, 365 days is a very long time to have to
wait to get it right!
are a number of mental
games one can play on race
me, mental games
are about keeping my mind occupied so that there is no
chance of letting the negative thoughts in. I have mentioned
having a running mantra in my practical considerations
Repeating a mantra is a good mind exercise! Other mind
activities include counting or spelling. Simple activities
really. With counting, I just keep counting under my breath
from 1 to 8. I count in such a way as to regulate my
breathing at the same time (ie. one, two (in breath), three, four (out
breath), five, six (in breath), seven, eight (out breath). I
just keep repeating this exercise which, by the way, works well for
getting rid of stitches! Spelling is much like the counting
except that you are repeating letters instead of numbers.
Your mind keeps busy working out what the next number or letter needs
this, you can be dead and buried at halfway and still pick yourself up
and finish in time. There are more than enough kilometres in
this race to fix things up. I personally find the second half
of the run mentally easier than the first. Why?
Well because I’m running TO the finish, as opposed to in the first
half, where I am running FROM the start. Hold this thought
when you fall off one of the busses. You can do it on your
own. Just believe in yourself!
like to finish off with one last personal thought. On the
day, there is one truth I am sure of. There isn’t any other
place in the world that I would rather be than exactly where I am on
External links: Official Comrades
Key words: Comrades
Marathon, Mental considerations, race day, this is the day, mental games
busses, Comrades morning,
believe in yourself