6 Mental States You Will Encounter While Training

Submitted by 8r4d on May 7 2013

Everyone loves a good list, and after four previous rounds of my blogging extravaganza “week of lists” posts, I’ve pretty much confirmed the old (if slightly modified) adage: If you write them, they will come. Again, seven days, seven lists: and this time the topic honours my starting-this-week marathon training efforts for the summer of 2013, locked in step and stride on this, the week of lists number five, the Twenty-6-Point-Two Miles Edition.

Alright, so I missed my eidtorial deadline by a couple days. Forgive me. I was supposed to have posted this article on Saturday, but it was only half-written and I wasn’t entirely happy with it. Then… welll… life happened. A beautiful day, an invite to a party, some good food and drinks.

Sunday morning I ran a half marathon… and promptly fell asleep on the couch, my mind awash in feelings of “OMG! What am I doing? What ever made me think I could do a full marathon if I feel like this after a half?” Well, never mind that I was near-death sick last week and had a beer or two more than one rightfully should twelve hours before a race. Never mind that it was hot and hilly and I pushed myself for a better time than I trained for.

In this post I want to talk about just that sort of thing. You know… the:

6 Mental States You Will Encounter While Training

1 : Clarity

Everything is perfect. Your goals are all out on paper. Your training plan leaves you months of lead time. You have you eyes on the prize, as it goes. You are clear and focused.
counting the klicks in painful footfalls

2 : Loneliness

Then it hits you fifteen kilometers into a training run or a trial race, plodding along on the open asphalt, counting the klicks in painful footfalls as you canter slowly towards your goal: sometimes you are doing this solo. Sometimes you are very alone on that dusty road.

3 : Hopelessness

There is a punch to the brain-pan that comes unexpectedly one morning. You wake up the day following a big run, sore, achy all over, overwhelmed and broken. The thought of taking one more step is depressing, let alone the thousands more you are destined to run that evening and the millions before you reach your finish.

4 : Affirmation

Poof: the little white angel on your other shoulder appears and reminds you of how far you’ve come and the choices you made. You are re-energized, re-invigorated, and you push a little bit harder knowing that it’s those who sacrifice who win.

You are temporarily invincible…

5 : Narcissism

Your pride tips a little too far. You get cocky and sure. You are temporarily invincible and you judge yourself against others, for better or worse and usually for worse. But who cares? You’re fast and lean and…

6 : Triumph

Everything just fits one day. A fast run. A sure distance. A solid pace. A strong set of legs and no pain. It all clicks together, and you are ready to race.