• Helen Phillips

Controlling the Chimp


As you get further into your run your body will get tired, your legs might start to ache, heart rate increase and breathing get harder.

When your body is low on glucose, the brain, which uses a massive amount of glucose will tart to tell you to stop or slow down. It’s in self preservation mode and wants you to quit.

“But Chimpy, I’m on for a PB and it’s only 2 miles to go”

“I don’t care. It’s time you put your feet up. Look over there, there’s a pub with happy people outside drinking beer. Wouldn’t you rather be laughing with friends”

The Chimp appears when you least want him and you’re forced to argue your case to carry on, or give up and mope about feeling a sad disappointment if you give in.

During a long half or marathon the Chimp WILL pop up. You need a strategy for how to deal with him.

This years London marathon a friend in Edinburgh held a “chimp camp”. Days before we were all urged to put Chimpy on the train north. When running got tough at 24 miles I repeated over and over to myself

“Chimp can get me. Chimps in Chimp Camp!”

I kept my pace right until the finish line.

Ok Chimp Camp might not be for you. But come up with a visualisation or mantra to repeat for those tough end of race situations.

If you’re interested in learning more about preparing for, running and recovering from LONG RUNS, check out Courses for Top Tips.