How To Do More Than You Think You Can.
Your strength comes from knowing your weaknesses and working with them.
If I asked you which was faster, a hare or a tortoise, you’d probably laugh and think that was a trick question, right? For sure you’d know the answer. But did you know that on average, tortoises outlive hares on average by a factor of about 20 times in lifespan? Perhaps there’s a lot to be said for taking your time and moving at your own pace.
We all know the story of the Hare And The Tortoise as the fastest of the animals takes on the slowest in a race. As the arrogant hare takes a nap close to the finish line the lowly tortoise plods past and wins the race.
Very often, in my experience, the proverbial hare is all you can see when looking into a mountain climb, a marathon or a swim online. But all too often, I feel so much more like the tortoise. The fact is however that you can still be the tortoise and still reach the summit or cross the finish line. All it takes is a sense of adventure and some humility to accept your physical limits and work within them.
Let's look at the London Marathon as an example. I was ecstatic when I got a letter through telling me that I’d got through the ballot and had a place to run in the 2020 London Marathon. I eagerly started watching stories on YouTube to see everybody's experience of previous runs.
My screen was full of pictures of athletes and advice on how to run a sub-3-hour marathon. The London Marathon, as depicted on those videos, was for people who were nothing like me. They were doing something which would have been impossible to me. I had to give up there or then or find a different frame of reference.
If you search beyond the videos however you will find that those who complete the London Marathon before 7pm on race day qualify for a medal. With a start close to 10am, that’s almost 9 hours to complete the course.
My training runs often have as much, or more walking than running in them, yet they are still run at a pace close to a 7-hour marathon. For sure you may feel like the proverbial tortoise when watching those videos on YouTube…