How to Avoid a Half Marathon Meltdown – Core Values & Uncertainty

Core Values

Why do some of go on to finish a half marathon training schedule and physical race and others don’t? If we took a look at two different runners both the age of 45 with both of them having the same physical capability, no injuries, and the same exercise capacity why is it then possible for one to finish a race and another not succeed? There are many different ideas and reasons why this could happen. If we narrowed the differences between each runner even further such as neither runner would become sick. Also, both have the same amount of time to allocate to exercise. The only thing left comes down to a person’s core values. These are values that help each person every day make the decisions that they make.

If we decide today, that in 12 weeks we are going to complete our first half marathon, our present state changes from a static state to a growth state of mind. We are leaving our current state of security and certainty to a state of growth and uncertainty. Uncertainty, can be anything from “will I finish the race?” or “Am I a strong enough runner to finish a half marathon?” Also, this can come from your past, for instance, a past coach telling you that, “you weren’t fit enough to run.” If some of these past experiences haunt you then you will need to spend a little time with your future self.

How To Aviod A Half Marathon Meltdown - Visualization

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Past Self

Have ever been laughed at because you’ve done something extremely silly which left you feeling embarrassed? Has someone told you that you weren’t good enough to do something? Have you told yourself that you couldn’t do something because of some circumstances? Odds are you’ve experienced all three of these things. These past experiences can creep up on you especially when you’re trying to take a new direction in life (growth). The key is to reprogram yourself with new beliefs about what you can do and when you will do it. This is where affirmations can help out tremendously. Simply telling yourself twice a day that “I will finish a half marathon race on <insert date>.” Eventually, if you keep repeating these affirmations, you will believe it and hopefully turn this into a success.

Present Self

While you’re out on your runs training for a half marathon, try to be in the present. Feel your feet touch the ground, concentrate on your breathing, relax your shoulders a bit and live in the moment. I guess this is one of running’s biggest draws for me. I get to take a break from the world and get in touch with my inner present thoughts and enjoy feeling alive. We spend so much of our day to day routine dwelling on the past and also seeking out the future that we need to bring ourselves back to the present. Meditation, although this isn’t for everybody, can help you concentrate on the here and now and rid yourself of past and future thoughts that lead nowhere.

Future Self

By practicing various forms of visualization you help put your present self in a future state. When I started training for my first half marathon I followed this routine before every long run:

  • Perform about 5 minutes of dynamic stretching (knee hikes, side gallops, etc)
  • Close my eyes and visualize myself finishing my long run for the day. I would reach out and try to picture how it will feel to finish the half marathon race.
  • I would practice taking some deep breaths and try to clear my mind.

By making visualization or mediation a daily routine you are continually making a connection between your present self and future self. Eventually, these two will merge and you will have accomplished your task that your future self-visualized.

CLICK HERE TO READ Part 8 – The Long Run

CLICK HERE TO READ Part 10-  Inner Coach vs. Inner Critic

Coach Scott is a published author and RRCA certified running coach (Level 2). He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 14th half marathon race. 

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