10/7/2016 – 9 AM run, cool, 1 mile easy, 4 miles steady pace (8:10 to 8:40), 1 mile easy. My steady pace splits were: 8:24, 8:25, 8:35, 8:29
The steady pace run today, combined with the surge long run tomorrow is designed to (1) simulate the tired legs in the late stage of a marathon and (2) run on tired legs to increase muscular endurance.
Without questions, running a marathon takes physical strength and endurance. But the aspect of mental training is often understated or unnoticed. As I get out of the house to hit the pavement each run, I do not rely on any external mental support. No music, no motivational speeches, no daydreaming.
Instead, I focus on each step.
I know this may sound corny or trite. But it is in fact just the opposite. I don’t think about how much I have run or how much more that I yet to complete. Either way, the distance discourages me. Moreover, neither helps me to feel the present moment, the very step I am taking.
If anything, I go micro-focused on my body. How I land my foot, the recoiling force, my air uptake, arm swings, etc. Monitoring my body is like if I am inside of a flight cockpit with all the instrumentation gauges to pay attention to. In case something happens and needs adjustment.
In other words, I am preoccupied with my running. Kinda like in a flow. And long and behold, whatever the distance, it almost does not matter.
What gives you strength to sustain your energy and focus?