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Pendulum of doubt

Six weeks out, one month out and especially on race day runners will sabotage themselves through what I call the pendulum of doubt. "I am not sure I am ready for this." "Will I be able to hit my target?" "Should I do more or less in these last weeks?"

The illustrious Boston Marathon (April 15) is less than a month away. It is a fantastic marathon to enter (or so I have been told... no first hand experience, yet) with an amazing atmosphere and lure to it. It is definitely on my bucket list.

On the various platforms on running I follow, I see the 2019 attendees start to swing their pendulums of doubt. Less than 30 days to the starting gun and the nerves are already getting the better of some runners.

What I can say from my - non-Boston - marathon experiences is that we all suffer from the pendulum of doubt before an A-race. For marathon running this means that in some preparation runs we feel amazing and have complete confidence in our abilities and the next run we might be doubting if we will reach the finish line.

To overcome these pendulum swings from complete confidence to intense doubt, it is important that you track your progress. Because we are all subject to good days and bad days, we naturally project the feeling of the day onto our race day event. Knowing you will have days where you feel you can run forever and that these will be alternated with days that are 'hard work' at minimum, it is important to see proof that your training is heading in the right direction. This is why keeping a record of your training is so important. You can track your work and negate the oscillations of the pendulum of doubt.

Focus on the red trend line of your fitness and understand that the natural progression is that you will have some variations around the mean. If you have a training record that accurately provides you this type of visual with the key performance indicators, you will be able to control the mental game of your next A-race. TrainingPeaks is an amazing platform for this.

Erik provides coaching for runners who are looking to break barriers. Understanding that most of the limitations are brought onto oneself, Erik trains not just your body but your mind as well. If you are interested in a training plan or want to know more about Erik's coaching, don't hesitate to schedule a free call to learn more.

Good luck to all you Boston heroes out there!


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