Holistic Training for Marathons

Whenever we think about marathon preparation we typically think about following a set physical  program. We hire a running or fitness coach, work with him to develop a plan that fits your personality and schedule. Then we try to battle with ourselves to show up everyday for this, trying as best we can to to follow it to the letter. Then we think about working on our nutrition and then consider the gear for the race. Rarely do we really take time to deliberately develop a mental and emotional program to prepare for race day. 

This came to mind as I was watching a Ted Talk that tackled the topic of Emotional Hygiene. It discussed how we disproportionately put so much effort in our physical wellbeing but don’t do as much for our emotional wellbeing. Often times we even cause it harm by berating ourselves when self esteem is already at its lowest. I am guilty of this and I see it even in my marathon training. 

I am on the tail end of my program and I am mighty proud that I followed it to the letter. But it dawned on me that I have not prepared my psyche as much as my body. Yes I consume content on mindfulness and mental preparation for athletes but I’m suddenly curious what type of daily program I can do to get a holistic marathon training. I tried a bit of this while training for my Boston Qualifier but even that was not at par to effort put into physical daily drills. I don’t know of any coach locally who incorporates this in the training.

Perhaps this is something I could experiment on in the coming months- strengthening the mind, heart, spirit and body muscles through a program. We consequently build our mental and emotional resilience when we physically train but I’m curious on the process and outcome if this were a more deliberate choice. Might be something worth doing for the next race preparation. 

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