The seven stages of a marathon

Do you need a breakdown? Or would you rather experience it for yourself? Let’s take a detailed look at your last race ...
1. Ritual
The ritual is a somewhat ceremonious action performed according to strict rules and with a high degree of symbolism. Oiling the body, doing everything before the race very meticulously, carbo-loading, carefully tying one’s shoes, having very specific meals beforehand, or making a sacrifice to the gods of sport are all examples.

2. Shock
An expression for the reaction to a strenuous or scary experience. You’re on the 3rd kilometre, you just can’t believe it and there’s no way you’ll make it.

3. Denial
A defence mechanism: an existing external aspect of reality is not acknowledged. You’re on the 8th kilometre and still have a way to go – farther than you’ve ever run before – but don’t think about that for the moment.

4. Isolation
Another defence mechanism: You now need all of your strength for yourself.

5. Desperation
It can’t be… your muscles are tense; some of those around you have already given up. Your knees hurt and the first blisters are showing themselves. You still have 15 km ahead of you.

6. Acceptance
And still – you run, run and run. Yes, you can do it!

7. Renewal
You made it! Now you can rest, eat, drink, lie around lazily in the sun, regenerate, etc. Your head is finally clear.