I have not run marathons since 2013 yet I have been running my life marathon since then until today!
I had to take break after realizing that I needed to take a journey of rediscovery, to liberate my soul. Believe me, running marathons ultra for that matter requires a combination of NUMERACY and PSYCHOLOGY knowledge, the two things that happen to be critical to any economy.
Robert T. Kiyosaki says, “forget about success in any quadrant of your life if you always say ‘I am not good with numbers.’”
Let me share my experience of running ultra marathons, Comrades Marathon – The 56 miles/90km also known as the Ultimate Human Race in South Africa and its sister marathon, the 34.8miles/56km Two Oceans Marathon in particular. Depending on your desired finish time, you have to do some calculations especially during training as you prepare for these races. For example, to finish Comrades marathon (89.9km) in 10.5 hrs, you need to run an average of 7 minutes per kilometer (7minutes x 89.9km/60 minutes). Whether you are mathematically inclined or not, you have to calculate!
Race organizers provide you with a pacing chart online for your training. You are also provided with training plan, to know the number of hours to run per week among other details. This teaches you planning and setting milestones using numbers. Now that’s where most of us get stuck, we tend to have million ideas but turning them into numbers horrifies us.
During the race, when you look at your time and pacing chart, it will inform you if you are running too fast or too slow to finish.
Now Psychology. The mind to finish. The MAIN thing is to keep the MAIN thing the MAIN THING. Stick to your pace depending on your fitness levels, if you start running too fast when you see other athletes passing you, you are not going to finish as you will be pushing yourself beyond your training pace, on the other hand if you become complacent and stay with those running too slow you will still not finish the race, at least not in your set time.
Self esteem and audacity to ask those who have done it before and/or to get feedback to do better are key. I got hospitalised during my first Two Oceans race because of stubbornness, didn't listen to coach when he asked me not to run since I had not trained well based on training plan, I had not clocked enough hours during training, therefore unfit. It taught me humility, trust and listening skills.
“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs
NUMERACY AND PSYCHOLOGY ARE AS CRITICAL TO RUNNING AS THEY ARE TO AFRICAN ECONOMY.