GETTING ALL THE LITTLE THINGS RIGHT
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
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.