How Ultimate Answer 42 Will Help You To Run a Marathon

I believe that the vast majority of you have seen or at least heard about the famous scene from the 2005 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie based on a book written by Douglas Adams.
The supercomputer called Deep Thought designed by a group of hyperintelligent beings is supposed to find the answer to the most fundamental question. The question of life, the universe and everything… After 7.5 million years, the Deep Thought comes with an unexpected answer:

The Answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and everything is…42.

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

An answer that will please a few, right? The crowd from the movie, expecting a major revelation, does not hide a disappointment as well. And comments on that with unmistakable British humor. 🙂 Have a look for yourself.

Finding the meaning in 42

Such a generic answer to the question of the meaning of life has its pros and cons. On the one hand, there is no clear answer on how to behave or act, which will leave many people disappointed. On the other hand, with a bit of creativity, we can simply find there our own meaning.

42 definitely had a meaning for Greek soldier Pheidippides, who ran 42 kilometers to Athens to announce a victory against the Persian army at the battle of Marathon. According to the legend, he delivered the message and died.

Since you are reading this, it is probable that your goal is to run a marathon as well. Or you just like the above-mentioned movie scene. 🙂 Anyway, don’t worry, I definitely do not want you to die.

I want to show you an amazing technique that has helped me incredibly to prepare myself (and by myself I mean my brain) for a marathon and I will share it with you here.

It is largely about mental preparation. More experienced runners know that mental preparation is absolutely crucial during marathon training. Successful life coach Tony Robbins says that the mental aspect is 80% of your success.

Importance of mental preparation

Implementing ultimate number 42 into your workouts

As you have noticed, a marathon race is 26,2 miles long, which is actually 42,2 kilometers. That is too long for an average body and brain. In order to convince my brain that it is even possible to make it, I simply implement the number 42 in every aspect of my training.

As you probably know, you should be working on your core and legs strength during your marathon preparation. To know more about this topic, check my article Top 7 Strength Workouts That Will Make You a Better Runner.

Anyway, what do I do during my strength training?

My strength training includes:

  • 2-3 series of 42 Squats
  • 2-3 series of 42 Walking lunges
  • 3 series of 42-second lasting Wall sits
  • 3 series of 42-second lasting Planks
  • 2 series of 42 pushups every morning
Ultimate answer 42 embedded in your workouts!

Besides the strength training, I have implemented the ultimate number 42 in my runs as well. As you probably know, outside of long runs, you need to implement short recovery runs and also quality runs (tempo runs and interval runs) into your marathon training. You may find more about the importance of interval runs in my article The Best Running Exercise to Lose Weight Quickly.

Anyway, my interval training usually looks like this:

  • 20 series of fast runs each per 42 seconds alternated by
  • 20 series of walking breaks between runs each per 42 seconds (or shorter)

Training approach based on NLP

This seems crazy, right? Why would I do this?

Well, by embedding the number forty-two in every aspect of my training, I am regularly conditioning my brain to deliver the desired outcome (42 kilometers) on the race day.

But does it really work?

Unlike a supercomputer calculating the ultimate answer to life, this is not science fiction. 🙂 Outside the fact that it helped me to run my first marathon 6 months after I started running, it is also backed up by science.

The 42 marathon training approach is based on a technique called Neuro-linguistic programming. This technique has been known since the late seventies and nowadays it became a basic coaching tool of many extremely successful life coaches such as Tony Robbins or Marisa Peer.

If you want to know more about NLP:

In short, NLP is a technique that enables you to reach a personal goal or desired outcome by repeatedly applying certain behavioral and linguistic patterns that eventually re-program your brain.

Creatively applying different variations of number 42 in my marathon preparation, I am subconsciously re-programming my brain and making it understand that the job is done only once we reach 42 kilometers. Not earlier than that.

Try it by yourself!

Based on my own experience, I believe this tool could be a game-changer for some of you. Mental preparation is dramatically underrated in today’s marathon training plans.

Try to experiment, be creative with your training and let us know in the comments how did it work for you!

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