A few years ago, elite marathoners started making a run at consistent sub 2:05 marathons. Other than drugs (which I am sure is not the reason so many made the drop) I truly believe the fact that the runners were getting faster is that they stopped being afraid.
Many major marathons were run not to lose rather than to win. The pack would stay together for 15 miles before a move was made. Now moves are made from mile 1 on, and it is up to the pack to keep up or drop off. This means many elites are ending with DNFs or fallin g way back a predicted placement because not everyone can run a 2:05 every time they step to the line.
It has made the sport more exciting, more unpredictable, and more like track where runners often attack records and sometimes flop in the process. Runners lost fear of the flop. I love it.
There is also no reason you cannot incorporate this in with your own training. If you are a ten minute miler you are most likely more than willing to say something like ” I could never run an 8 minute pace." Then an elite marathoner would ever say “I can never run a 2:05."
Just by saying that, you have limited yourself. The fact is you can run faster. I have taken this advice myself recently and have found myself working harder, not being afraid of failing. Just going out and running fast. I have always believed the only way to run fast, well, is to actually run fast. Stop limiting yo urself. When Sheila first started running, she did not have a garmin, I would lie to her about our pace. At the end of the run she would have a moment of anger “you made me run that fast” and then she would start to realize how capable she really was.
Your body can handle more than you think. Go for it! Stop being worried about not running so fast. If you can only run faster for a short bit, do it, then repeat. Find comfort in the discomfort and watch your times drop!
I promise you, the ability and the s peed is there. Let your mind be convinced, and run a PR in your next race!