Bill Rodgers, one of the great­est dis­tance run­ners of all time, once said, “The marathon will hum­ble you.” We picked the brains of dozens of ex­pe­ri­enced run­ners from across Canada who have suc­ceeded at 42.2K and ask them about the minu­tiae – all the littl

Canadian Running - - EXOTIC DESTINATION - By Caela Fen­ton

As much as I hate to ad­mit be­ing in­spired by any sort of vi­ral video, there is one that comes around my so­cial me­dia ev­ery once in a while that makes me stop and ref lect. As far as I can tell, the con­tent of the video orig­i­nates with Steven Covey, the au­thor of The 7 Habits of Highly Ef­fec­tive Peo­ple. In the story, a teacher pulls out a jar and then places rocks in it un­til they reach the brim. The teacher asks the class: “Is the jar full?” When stu­dents say yes, he pro­ceeds to add peb­bles to the jar, which fil­ter into the spa­ces be­tween the rocks. The peb­bles are fol­lowed by sand, and then by water, un­til the jar can truly be called “full.”

The mes­sage of this lit­tle parable is twofold – first, that the im­por­tant things in life (the rocks) come first – you can’t fit a rock in a jar that’s al­ready filled up with sand, and se­condly that we have an im­mense ca­pac­ity to fill our lives if we are will­ing to do so.

What’s a good marathon ar­ti­cle with­out a marathon as life metaphor? Co-opt­ing Covey’s jar of life anal­ogy: if the jar is your ca­pac­ity to train for a suc­cess­ful marathon, then mileage and work­outs are the big rocks and, cor­re­spond­ingly, they get most of the at­ten­tion. But what about all the lit­tle things? Just as adding peb­bles, sand and water to the jar proves the ca­pac­ity to be greater than we think, sleep, nutri­tion, mind­set and pre­ha­bil­i­ta­tion can fil­ter in to demon­strate a far greater ca­pac­ity to pre­pare and per­form well.

There’s no bet­ter place to look for those grains of wis­dom than through con­ver­sa­tion with run­ners who have demon­strated con­sis­tent suc­cess with the marathon dis­tance.

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