The marathon barrier—the point where the large majority of distance runners say, “No more!”—is strictly a mental and artificial one. The numerical significance of 26 is man-made. it is invested with magical qualities, and the biggest roadblock to going beyond it is in simply shedding the myth. To do so can be an experiment in curiosity, as the runner is drawn ever outward into unexplored realms. But while events longer than a marathon can constitute a challenge and an adventure, there is little intrinsic difference in them. A six-mile run is an endurance event, even if people who go that far daily may tend to forget it. So it is with a 100-mile run. The difference is only in degree. The quantity may increase dramatically, but the qualities demanded remain similar. To truly accept this fact is necessary to your success in super-long runs.
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