Simon Bairu, Shalane Flanagan, and Tim Nelson, three members of the Nike Oregon Project making their marathon debuts in New York on November 7, were participants in a live webchat hosted by Kimbia Athletics and New York Road Runners.
Spiked Up, Psyched Up was fortunate enough to get a question through to the three athletes. The following are their responses:
Question for all three athletes: what kind of mental training have you had to make in order to prepare yourselves for a distance twice that you’ve ever raced?
Let’s start with “Mr. Holistic,” Tim Nelson, on this one…
Yeah, they don’t call me the Zen Master for nothing (JK). Honestly I think the mental preparation comes with the training. If you are unable to do the workouts mentally, you probably won’t be able to handle the race.
we’ve done a few long 15-18mile tempo runs and i just try to stay as relaxed as possible on those runs for as long as possible. being able to stay relaxed for 18miles is a big confidence booster. Race day will be hard but we’re ready!
In my long runs and tempos I practice all of my mental tools that I will need for race day. I focus on staying relaxed as a long as possible, knowing I will have to be ready mentally and physically in the late stages.
So, Tim, would you say it’s just a matter of committing to the training plan?
Yes, I’d say it’s a lifestyle commitment. You have to live healthy, get enough rest, eat well all so you are able to do the workouts. As a result, the mental preparation goes along with it.