Inside the Minds of some Crazy Ultra Marathoners

Abhishek Paul
2 min readSep 12, 2018

I was watching a documentary of people running the 100 mile race. I don’t run, nor was I looking to begin, it’s just that running a 100 miles in day seemed a ridiculous challenge and I wanted to hear what went on in the minds of the those willingly putting themselves through this punishment.

The first thing that stood out was that they looked and sounded like an average person on the street, with nothing about them even hinting at the fact that they were capable of this superhuman feat. As they spoke, their obvious work ethic and disciplined training routine came out. I was almost halfway through the documentary and I still couldn’t find what I thought would be their “secret sauce”.

But what intrigued me most was the fact that they had real and persistent doubts about their ability, their chances of doing well despite all their talent, experience and preparation. They did not think of themselves as special or destined for greatness in any sense, in fact they appeared shy and even surprised when others would come up and say they were an inspiration.

That’s when it dawned on me, the secret sauce was their ability to go and perform despite the doubts that raged on inside their heads, despite not believing they were the best or gifted. They willed themselves to run for a 100 miles despite these thoughts running in their head. Though I didn’t learn much about running, I did learn something valuable about dealing with my own worst enemy.

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