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The Marathon Effect

In Blog, Coaching, Corporate Strategy, Goals, Mental Toughness, Peak Performance, Personal Development, Self Help | on 03.05.18 | by | Comments ( 0 )

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Have you ever noticed how it doesn’t seem to matter how big or how small a project is, you reach a point about 80% of the way through when you feel like you will never be able to finish it?

I call this phenomenon “The Marathon Effect” because as Angie started running in races and competing in triathlons and the distances progressed, I noticed a funny thing… Regardless of the distance of the race, she got to a point where she wasn’t 100% sure that she would be able to finish it. In a 5K race, it might come at the 2.5-mile mark… In an Ironman triathlon, it might come at the 20-mile mark of the marathon after she had already covered 154 miles.

And furthermore, when she crossed the finish line at each “first race” at a particular distance, she was 100% certain that could never possibly tackle a longer distance… until, of course, she did.

But the Marathon Effect doesn’t just show up in athletics. It shows up in goal achievement time after time! Let me explain:

We set a goal – a big, beautiful goal – something we want, and want badly and we launch off in pursuit of it – just like in a race. We cross the start line and start running, right?

And things feel GREAT! We are making progress – maybe we’re even ahead of schedule.

We complete daily commitment sheets…

We imagineer every day…

We take action that moves us further down the road every day…

But then, somewhere along the way – usually when you’re about 75-80% of the way to your goal, something happens and the wheels start to fall off.

We meet a seemingly insurmountable obstacle…

We start doubting that we can finish what we started…

We start justifying why maybe it’s okay to just stay where we are…

We slow down and stop doing the things that have gotten us as far as we have come…

This is where we face a choice:  We can put the fear, doubt, and worry aside and keep taking step after step – regardless of how slow – until we reach the finish line OR we can give in to the fear and the pain and the struggle and quit – take the DNF and go home.

The only time we lose is when we quit! No one will ever care how fast we achieved our goals – they will only care that we achieved them.

It is a very rare occasion when anyone ever asks Angie how fast she ran her marathon or her triathlon or her 5K races, but there is always “Oooooing” and “Ahhhing” over the sight of the medals hanging on the wall.

Don’t quit! Don’t give in to the Marathon Effect. The awareness of what is happening can give you the extra push you need to keep taking the steps – one at a time – that will get you to your finish line!


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