Predicting Performance

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

I can accurately predict how someone will handle the rigors of training and perform in the marathon the moment I meet them.  The most compelling observation is related to their attitude and enthusiasm.  Training for the Boston Marathon in particular is the ultimate equalizer; it reveals the truth of who you are.

Similar to life, training for  Boston will inevitably include frustration, disappointment and setback.  How one endures and recovers from these experiences reflects how they will perform on Marathon Day.  The runner that maintains a healthy perspective and positive attitude during trying times is more likely to attain their goals in the marathon.  It’s important to handle the ups and downs and the highs and lows with equal emotion.  Not getting too excited with a great, seemingly effortless, run or too discouraged over a disastrous run is as important in running as it is in life.

I’m always so impressed and inspired by the runners that return from a run and I cannot tell how they performed until I ask them.  I feel like I failed a runner if they’re devastated after a poor run.  I try to instill a sense of good fortune in my runners.  We are so fortunate to be given an opportunity to run and we’re absolutely blessed to train for the Boston Marathon on the actual course.  The best runners, not necessarily the fastest, are more determined and motivated after a difficult run.  They attempt to determine what the cause may have been and do everything possible to avoid another occurrence.  It may be simple as something they ate, drank, lack of sleep or training hard on consecutive days; all easily avoidable as training progresses.

There is undoubtedly a spirit about a marathoner.  I understand the attraction of the Boston Marathon and the desire to check it off one’s bucket list.  But I admire the people who live the life of a runner.  Running, particularly being a dedicated marathoner, is not a part-time job…it’s a lifestyle.  You cannot be undisciplined during the week or other facets of your life, simply cover the prescribed long-run distance each Saturday, and expect any significant degree of success on Marathon Day…the odds are stacked too steeply against you!

Running and life parallel one another.  Handling disappointment, having discipline, being grateful and appreciative are attributes that provide a foundation for success.  The people and runners that possess these are so special, they exude this spirit in how they train and live!

  1. sara says:

    Well said. This is why I’m pulled toward the marathon.

    For me, the challenge of a marathon isn’t in the physical energy it takes to complete 26.2 miles, but the mental energy needed to continuously push your body for 3 to 5 hours. Like a road trip that lasted 4 hours too long, somewhere in the race you just want it to be over so you can stop pushing yourself. It’s mentally exhausting. However, the ability to push through this mental challenge makes you a better runner and, more importantly, makes you a better person, employee, spouse, parent, and child. I love the transferability of running “skills” into our daily life!

  2. Hello Sara,

    You’ve captured the essence of my message perfectly…you just conveyed it better than I. Congratulations on your 3:12 at Boston…very impressive!


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