Last night at our Marathon Mental Prep Clinic, we had some questions about setting finish time goals for the marathon. Throughout the training season, your TFK coaches have stressed that first timers should just enjoy the event, learn from it, and then set a time goal at the next one (and there will be a next one!). That being said, we do have just a few competitive types who want to make a certain time goal. Nothing wrong with that – but don’t let a goal get in the way of the experience. As Grete Waitz once said, “Whether you are the Kenyan trying to break 2:06 or you finish in six, you are both doing what you trained for and participating in a sport you love.”
We suggest you actually set three goals:
And then there’s TFK alum Norm Solomon who emphasizes that finishing is a tremendous achievement in itself: “I won't be first and hopefully I won't be last but I will finish!'
Whatever your goal, the most important mental note to keep in mind is to believe in yourself. You’re fit, you’re strong, you’ve put in the training, and you will succeed! Now get to it!