With just 1km to go in the City to Surf marathon, I noticed another runner who had stopped running and started walking.
This puzzled me: why wouldn’t you keep on running if you knew the finish line was close?
On entering the race, I thought there was no way I could do it in four hours.
But the fact that I was able to, within the space of a few seconds, is a testament to the mental ability it takes to go far beyond what you initially thought was possible.
According to sports science researcher Samuele Marcora, fatigue is grounded in perception – which suggests that it can be managed.
Through his own experiments in testing the endurance of a team of rugby players, Marcora believes that “most of us can keep going after our brains start telling us to stop.”
If this other runner hadn’t slowed down, what records could he have broken for himself?
How could he have harnessed his mind to push harder, even as his body was aching and the finish line was near?
When we’ve been running at full steam for a long time, it’s so easy to take the foot off the pedal and coast to the finish line.
However, just because you’re in the home stretch doesn’t mean you should slow down. As an athlete, I always aim to finish stronger than I started.
Even as my body is aching and the finish line looks like it’s just within reach, I remain focussed on what I set out to do and how I can keep beating my personal best.
Whether you’re nearing the end of a long and difficult project or the last few slides of a pitch presentation, this is your chance to push yourself to set a record, go out with a bang and achieve something you thought was impossible before.
The best part is, all the pain stops once you’ve crossed that finish line!