Whole Health Marathoner: A Training Approach --
©Deborah Barr. All rights reserved.
Reprint from Western PA Health and Fitness Magazine
spent months preparing your body for the Marathon, running,
stretching, pushing your physical self to the limit. What
about the rest of you? Remember that the mind is the most
powerful organ we have. Professional athletes and coaches
have recognized for years that a wholistic approach to training
(incorporating mind, body, attitudes, emotions and spirit!)
leads to peak performance and better feelings before and after
wholistic approaches to maximize your marathon return.
creative visualization and affirmations. Favorite tools of
professional athletes, they enlist your mind to aid your body
energy follows thought. Use it as part of your training, not
just during the race.
and visualize what you want to experience. See yourself on
marathon day calm, ready, rested. Take yourself mentally
through the race, including the wall or any part
you fear. You can use a tape (there are many in book and natural
food stores) or record your own voice guiding you through
the race from beginning to end.
DO write down your fears and anxieties about the race.
Transform any negative attitudes or beliefs into a positive
statement, such as “I complete the race healthfully,
joyfully and with
ease. Repeat the affirmation tens of times each day.
to loving, supportive friends about your fears. Writing and
speaking them takes fear outside of you, freeing your energy
for the race. If those fears surface again during the marathon,
exhale them away.
visualizations on race day to guide you over rough spots in
the course. See yourself as a deer or visualize yourself connected
to the person in front of you or a car, something pulling
you along. Breathe!
yoga stretches and breathing exercises as a complement to
training. Yoga helps you feel more connected to your body
and keeps you aware of it. It can also help to prevent injury. Yoga stretches
keep connective tissues loose. Breathing exercises oxygenate
your entire system, boosting energy.
the importance of diet in training. DONT just carbo
load the day before the race. For the pre-race training
table, I suggest a balanced, whole grain diet. Whole grains
(brown rice, barley, millet, buckwheat) are more nutritious
and burn less quickly than refined carbohydrates (breads,
pastas, sweets) and build strength and endurance.
these foods in your training menu:
and root vegetables (winter squash, carrots, parsnips, turnips,
onions, yams, daikon, and burdock root)
distilled, or filtered
water. Hydrate yourself more so the week of the race.
overload on protein. It is prolonged, strenuous exercise
not protein that builds and strengthens muscles. A
high protein, high fat diet creates ketones, toxic substances
that can lead to dehydration and kidney damage.
meat and dairy to a minimum. They will make you feel sluggish,
dull your senses and create phlegm. Vegetarian animals, such
as horses, giraffes and antelopes, have greater endurance
than carnivores. This relationship of diet to endurance holds
true for humans as well.
energy-draining foods like alcohol, sweets, coffee and soft
drinks. They will dehydrate you. Long term, sugar weakens
your immune system and steals energy.
involved in the festivities. Enjoy the camaraderie and sense
of community. Laugh, relax, socialize. Get your family and
friends involved. Ask them to cheer you on and encourage you
at specific points.
the race philosophical as journey. Have the inner strength
to stop if needed. Dont hurt yourself. Stay focused
and aware of your body/mind. Be in the moment.
done your part in training and preparing yourself mentally
and physically. Now turn the outcome over to a Higher Power
or your Higher Self. Release the tension, worry, fear, anxiety
and desire to control over to this Power. Release any internal
chains that bind you to failure. Self-confidence and success
stem from knowing there is a power outside us and within that
wants us to succeed. We are not alone. Trust in this. Let
go of the need for effort and struggle.
and congratulate yourself. Youve done it! Youve
realized the dream. Sit with your feelings. Intense physical
exercise often brings a release of physical and emotional
toxins that need to come out, making you stronger and healthier.
down your feelings. Running a marathon can be a tremendous
healing experience that carries over into everyday living.
You can become stronger, more adaptable, more disciplined,
more adventurous, more self confident and courageous.
time off to savor it. Dont start training again right
away. Get a massage. Be with friends relax, laugh,
upon your marathon experience in life. When experiencing fearful
situations, go back to your victory and use the memory of
success to get you through difficulties. Expand your potential.
Challenge yourself again. Reach another goal. Live your dreams!
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