"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian


"At mile 20 I was struck by the scene on the other side of the road, of those climbing the first or two punishing hills on this out and back. Grown men were staggering along the side of the road, tears in their eyes. Athletic looking 20-somethings tried to stretch, massage and rub all sorts of muscles, as they looked up the hill in seeming despair. Others were walking slowly with their heads down, some muttering words of encouragement to themselves, others expressing disappointment in what was transpiring.
I started to think about the marathon and what it does to the body and mind. Quite literally it beats you up and breaks you down to nothing. In those few hours, the accumulated toll of the miles run, the energy exerted and the course itself combined with the thought of all the time, energy, blood, sweat and tears put in over weeks, months, even years of preparation and all of the other things experienced in a marathon push the body to the limits of what it can endure. Mentally, physically, and psychologically there is perhaps no better test of will and determination than a 26.2 mile race.
I know what those people were feeling. I felt the same emotions at the same point of my first marathon. It's not a good feeling. It is the feeling of fear -- fear that perceived failure is becoming a reality and there is seemingly nothing that can be done to prevent it. I learned an important, if simple, lesson that day: Allowing negative thoughts to enter the mind will destroy whatever shred of confidence someone may have left. After finishing the race and making my way to the recovery area, I decided then and there that I would never again allow negative thoughts to cultivate a spirit of fear in my running. Now three weeks later, seeing my fellow competitors suffering as I had, I realized how far I had come in a short period of time. Failure is not being unable to complete the marathon the way you had hoped. Rather, it is convincing yourself that you can't."
What is Mind Over Body Marathon?

Distance running requires more than physical endurance. While some may be able to complete marathons on sheer talent and ability, most of us must do more to prepare to succeed. Mind Over Body Marathon provides one place where you can find information geared towards preparing you for your race. Specifically, it focuses on three areas:
1. Diet (The Body): To reach our maximum potential as a runner, our bodies must run as efficiently as possible. Garbage in, garbage out.
2. The Mind: Mental and visualization exercises to use in training and on race day. Learning to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.
3. The Spirit: The importance of living a good and enjoyable life, the effects of stress on the body and mind and basking in the joy of running.
About Rychen Jones

On July 4th, 2008 I ran in the annual 4th of July race in my hometown. It was the first time I had ever chosen to run just simply to run. The race was 2.6 miles(the "Mini-Marathon" they called it) and I walked to the start line without one mile of training or preparation. As a 26-year old in fairly good shape, how hard could it be? The answer was frightening.

11 months later I was asked if I was going to participate in the 2009 Mini-Marathon. With 13 other relatives already committed, including both my parents and three younger siblings, I couldn't say no. In the weeks leading up to race, I ran a few miles here and there and on race day things went better than the previous year. But I felt like I should be able to do more.

I entered my first 5k two weeks later. The following week I ran a personal best 7.5 miles. A few weeks later I ran in a local 10k race. I wanted to do something bigger though. In the back of my mind a crazy idea kept coming: I wanted to run a marathon.

In January 2010, after nursing various over-training injuries through the month of December, I got serious about my training. I transitioned to a fruit predominant diet, drastically reduced my consumption of meat, dairy, fats, oils, refined sugar and processed foods and created a 21-week training program that had me running four days a week and resting three.

As a psychology major in college, I was familiar with the benefits of visualization exercises and began to research the mental strategies used by elite and non-elite marathoners alike. Shortly thereafter, I began to regularly incorporate mental exercises into my training. I am a firm believer that being mentally strong is required to be successful not only as a runner, but in life.

Eating right, exercising regularly, and strengthening my mind led naturally to a spiritual strengthening. Simply put, I'm happy. And I run happy. I have a wife, two young kids, a cat, a job, church responsibilities to attend to, bills to pay, and a variety of other tasks that can make life stressful, if I let them. The benefits of my marathon training has spilled over into my everyday life and has been a benefit to me and my family.

On June 5th, 2010 I ran my first marathon. It was one of the most difficult things I had ever done. But I did it. Three weeks later I ran my second and I look forward to running many more in the future. It is the challenge and unique experience that each race provides that leaves me yearning for more. I continue to run four days a week and do regular mental and visualization exercises.