(USA, Winner of London Marathon 1981 with 2:11, 2nd place in Boston 1982 with 2:08:53)
Question: I ran a 2:08:53 marathon with primarily a road-racing background. Would it improve my chances of making the 1984 Olympic marathon team if I partake in training and racing the 10,000 meters on the track?
Sri Chinmoy: Definitely you will improve your marathon time if you run 10,000 meters on the track. Running is a physical subject, a mental subject, a philosophical subject and a subject of the Beyond. In the physical aspect, nobody will be able to tell you more than you already know.
In the mental aspect, if you become used to running shorter distances, it can really help you. When you are running a marathon, mentally try to feel that you are running only thirteen miles rather than twenty-six miles. If you can convince the mind of this, and if the mind can convince the body that it is running only thirteen miles, then it will be a great advantage for you. This is not mental hallucination. A new discovery has dawned in the mind and the mind is passing it along to the body. Both the mind and the body will have to act together in order to reach the ultimate goal.
In the philosophical aspect, you have to feel that your problems are as insignificant as ants and pay no attention to them. You have had problems with cows, dogs, puddles and road hazards of all kinds. You should take these problems philosophically. Although these things are extremely unfortunate and discouraging for a great runner like you, you have to feel that they are almost part and parcel of a runner’s life. If you can see them in this way, then when discouragement and temporary lack of enthusiasm attack you, at that time you can also overcome these obstacles.
Finally, if you can think that through your running you are doing something that has a direct connection with the ever-transcending Beyond, which is far beyond the domain of the earth-bound physical mind, then you will get tremendous inspiration. This inspiration embodies added strength, added joy and an added sense of satisfaction.