Final Marathon Preparation

Posted: April 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Marathon Coalition sports psychologist, Dr. Grayson Kimball, offers the following advice for everyone running Boston.


Greetings to the TEAM:


Your big day is drawing near and the usual nerves and trepidation are probably settling in. Believe it or not, the

hard part is over. The nerves you feel are merely excitement. The training is the difficult part; the marathon is

the fun part. Monday is simply your second 20-mile run, with 6.2 bonus miles for being in such great shape!

Hopefully you will all have a peak performance on Monday but the reality is you may not. No matter how much

of a challenge you may be having, constantly remind yourself that your training, your belief in yourself, and

your dedication to the mission of your Charity will be all you need to pull you through. Above all, soak in the

excitement, the pageantry, the intensity, and the unique experience that makes the Boston Marathon all that it is.


As your thoughts race by the minute, try to focus your energies on things that are within your control. Things

that if you don’t like, you can actually change. Things like your diet, your attitude, your plans for the weekend,

what you are going to wear the day of the race, etc. Do not spend your time worrying about the weather –

we can’t change it. Do not spend your time wishing the start time was different – we can’t change it. Do not

spend your time worrying about what other people will think about your performance – we can’t change it. The

more you focus on yourselves and what you can control, the more enjoyment and satisfaction you’ll have on

Marathon Monday.


It is no secret in how much I value the mental approach to running (check out

The simplest of mind tricks can really enhance your running experience. One thing that I like to do to boost

my confidence and keep my mind “in the moment” during the last few miles of a marathon is to repeat the

following mantra every time I breathe – “with every breath I take, I get stronger”. This phrase makes me feel

like a more poised and efficient runner – which is critical when trying to finish the marathon feeling strong and

feeling proud. Here are a few additional mental triggers I want you all to think about between now and the

finish line:


On Marathon Monday…


o I will have the confidence needed to succeed

o I will engage in realistic, positive self-talk throughout the race

o I will take charge of my feelings and not have any emotional breakdowns if adversity comes my way

o I will have a game plan for my race that will help keep me focused on what I have to do

o I will stay focused on the little things I do that make me a great runner

o I will run my best and be satisfied with what I have accomplished

o I will always say “I CAN”



As I mentioned over the course of our trainings, music can be a powerful motivator when trying to snap out

of a bad run. Sometimes a simple lyric can put everything in perspective and get you back on track. So when

you are feeling fatigued, exhausted, and worn down – remember this fitting line sung by the great Jerry Garcia

– “struggling man has got to move, struggling man has no time lose, I’m a struggling man…and I’ve got to

move on”….That gets me back in the groove, hopefully it will for all of you…


In closing, it has been a tremendous experience, an honor, and a privilege to be a part of Marathon Coalition

coaching staff.





  1. Jeremy Howard says:

    Thank you for this Rick. After not being able to sleep very well last night with excitement, this was great to wake up to.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. LeanaP says:

    ,,,,,,”nothin’ left to do but just smile, smile, smile,,,

  3. Eva says:

    Wonderful words. I’m certainly at the anxiety stage now. You don’t know me but I’ve been reading along after this blog was recommended to me.

  4. Eva says:

    Thanks, Rick. Appreciated. 🙂

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