Competitor Magazine’s Beat Your Best Boston Marathon Superguide Tip #6


By T.J. Murphy

Don't let the mystical forces of the moon (or whatever it is) cause you to do something stupid before the race.

Tip number #6—Beware of sub-conscious self-sabotage. If you don’t know the name Buddy Edelen, you should: one of the greatest marathoners in American running history, Edelen was a middle-distance runner from Minnesota who went to live and work in England.  There he taught at a grade school and plowed through many hard/high-mileage weeks of training and turned himself into the world record holder for the marathon—1963, 2:14:28. However, before he earned such breathtaking honors, Edelen, like all of us, had to do his first marathon, and when he did (as chronicled in the wonderful book, “A Cold, Clear Day,” Edelen decided, on race morning, to eat something radically different before running, and wolfed down a tin of sardines. What happened? Edelen’s experiment backfired on him in the graphic manner that you are imagining that it backfired on him.

Point of the story? Beware some strange and mysterious force of human nature within that might have you deal with pre-race nerves by hurtling yourself off a cliff. Allow strange desires to do something weird to pass by you like a weird dream.

Let them flow through you and think of Buddy Edelen on his hands and knees hurling away, and know that even a world-class marathoner is prone to such strange forces, and have a good laugh about it all, turning a deep-down stress into a moment of stress relief.

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