Okay, this will be short and sweet (I think).
So, yesterday I read a blog post about “second winds”–“a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is too out of breath and tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion. Some scientists believe the second wind to be a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Others claim second winds are due to endorphin production, while still others believe it to be purely psychological.” (Wikipedia…real legit, I know).
I’m sure everyone has experienced second winds in the form of staying up super late, past exhaustion, to the point where you’re suddenly wide awake and aren’t even tired anymore. In running or any other endurance sport, a second wind can be a relief when you feel like there’s absolutely nothing left. I have definitely gone through the motions of hitting “the wall” and then somehow finding some leftover energy to finish the race or workout.
When I ran my first (and only) full marathon, I started the first 14 miles strong and was really proud of my pace.
Mile 10 when I still thought life was great and had the ability to smile ^^^
Mile 15 arrived and hit me like a ton of bricks. Miles 19 and 21 also punched me in the face and threw me on my ass. My friend, Geary, caught up with me and we suffered through the last 5 miles together. We would literally take turns complaining about how we were going to die while the other said things like, “No, we can do this. Almost there!” My legs felt like Jello/ like they were about to fall off. There were several points when I just wanted to sit down and give up without finishing. We passed the sign for less than a mile left and Geary suggested walking, again. I yelled (probably louder than I needed to) that we were so close and could not stop. By the time you see the finish line in the distance, any pain goes away. Finishing the effing race takes over all your focus and you power through.
Geary is the guy next to me in the middle who looks like he’s about to cry. He actually probably was.
Considering that I’ve never done another full marathon since, this may not be the best example. However, my point is that the combination of proper pacing and utilizing your second wind can result in a smart strategy for running a strong race.
This video describes marathon running pretty accurately: