Five Things I’ve Learned From Running

I’ve always wanted to link with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC.  Each Friday, she has a “Friday Five” themed post but I always forget them until Friday morning. This week I actually remembered earlier in the week. 

Each week she does a weekly theme. The theme this week is:

 

Five Running Tips:

Running has taught me a lot about the sport as well as about myself too. Like any runner I’ve had highs and lows. I’ve had the best races of my life and I’ve been injured for months.  These are a few lessons I’ve learned.

5 lessons Running Taught Me

Here are a few things I’ve learned and wanted to share:

 

  1. Running is a life long process.  Each run is important but it’s the collection of runs that define you.  You cannot worry too much about one run.  One bad race does not define your running and neither does one good race.  It’s important to realize that each run will not be your best or worst.  Some runs will be boring and some will be exciting.
    One of my recent "best races"
    One of my recent “best races” (Icicle 10 miler)

     

  1. Run your easy runs easy and your hard runs hard.  For me hard runs are races.  For others it is a hard workout.  Find out what works for you and stick to it.  My average 5k pace is somewhere between 6:10-6:30.  My average easy pace is somewhere between 8:30-9 in the heat.  There is no need to push the pace of easy runs.
  1. Find a hobby outside of running.  That might sound counterintuitive but you need a hobby that does not include running.  When you begin to focus on one aspect, you can lose touch with the outside world.  It’s important to have balance with everything you do including running.
For me I like to paint things.
For me I like painting
  1. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! This is something I struggle with. I’ve spent months doing long, slow easy runs because it was my comfort zone. While I improved for over four years via this method, I eventually stopped improving. Then I began switching to faster paced runs as well as tempo runs. I learned I enjoy going to the track.  Faster paced runs and workouts are outside of most people’s comfort zones but they are eventually necessary to keep improving.
Right now the track is still out of my comfort zone
Right now the track is still out of my comfort zone
  1. Your biggest competitor is you. There is only one person that follows you from the beginning of your running story to the end. That person follows you from race to race, from run to run and from day to day. They are inside of your head every single moment of the day…that person is you. Make that person positive and help to achieve your goals.
You are in your head
You are in your head

I’ve learned a lot from running but these are just a few.  Typing out these lessons is a reminder to me as well.  Running is a great sport that teaches you a lot along the way.

Questions for you: What have you learned from running (or any sport)?