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)?


  1. Yes to all of these lessons. I always say running is a journey b/c it really is a life long process of learning.

  2. Your No. 2 lesson is the biggest secret I’ve learnt over the past year!! One lesson I’ve learnt from running recently is that you can achieve so much more when you train and race with other people… and that is becomes infinitely more fun and rewarding!

  3. Find a hobby outside of running. YES. Love your list but love this one most. Sooo important – when injuries, fatigue or life starts to happen, this one is really important! Keeps you sane…and reminds you that there is more to life than running!

  4. Great post! I’ve experienced all of these lessons in running. But something running has taught me over the years, and how I’ve learned to live my life, is to keep an even keel as much as possible. Never get so charged from a run or a race that you think you think they’re all going to be that easy or painless, or good … they’re not. But never get so down that you think you’re a failure, that you’re done, that you suck. You don’t,

    1. That is so true and a great thing to remember! Each run is different and can change significantly throughout the course of one run let alone a week of training!

  5. Great tips Hollie! I’m working on #1 and #2 this year. I expected big gains in my first half this year because I started to really train hard in January, but I’m realizing that it takes a lot of dedication and years of hard work to really make progress. I’m hoping that all my hard work this year will start to pay off, and maybe if I keep it up I’ll get that BQ!

  6. I’ve started to incorporate really easy runs into my running this year. I realised a little while ago that my easy runs weren’t easy at all. Just because they weren’t run at my 5k race pace didn’t make them automatically ‘easy’!
    I absolutely have come to agree that running is a life long process as well. Your success does not come from just one event but from what you learn and achieve over time.
    Great tips! 🙂

  7. Fantastic five, m’lady!

    I think the best lesson that every sport has individually taught me is anyone can be good at it if they try. Also, there are about a million different variations/levels of “try”.:)

  8. Oh I love this!! My favorites are finding a hobby outside of running (yes!) and you are your biggest competitor (hell yes!) so well done Hollie! Spoken like a woman with years of experience 🙂

  9. I love this!! The finding a hobby outside of running is a good one. I am a photographer and so I love doing the blogging as well as the running. My photography kinda started to slip a little when I started running, it’s a good reminder not to let one hobby outshine another.

  10. I wish I could actually “push the pace” but everything for me is an easy run. Of course, because… knees. But, if I ever feel good again, I would love to throw in some speed work to see how I do. I am a slow runner/jogger normally, so if I can’t do it… Meh, I can still run!

    1. I’m glad you are able to run a bit though. Hopefully one day all if your issues go away. That would make my year!

  11. Yes, running is definitely a journey–a lifelong one like you said. I’m trying to become more comfortable with working outside my comfort zone; as I discovered last weekend, a lot of it is mental, so I’ll be working on my mental game this off-season too.

  12. Your easy pace would kill me but I totally believe #1 (even if I started running in my late 40s & am now in my 50s). And I often repeat #2 to myself on the appropriate runs!

  13. This is a great post! I never even thought about #3 before but it is so true. It is so easy to get caught up in training schedules and lose that life/run balance. #4 really resonates with me…I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone and join a running club. Maybe someday I’ll actually do it!

    1. I hope you do Gabby. I think running with people can be so rewarding. I wish I was able too more often honestly!

  14. I love your painting! I love that you love painting. I’m such an artsy person and I could really do anything to do with art if I had the time!

  15. I agree that hard runs for me are usually races. And yes I’m always trying to beat myself, beat those negative thoughts, etc. Running is a journey, cliche but true.

  16. Awesome post! So well said, Hollie.
    I’ve learned to appreciate every injury- free run . It seems I’ll run for a month and then something will get injured. So when nothing hurts I am so grateful and I say ‘thank you’.

  17. Loved all these, but especially the first one. I think it’s something that really transfers over into every other aspect of life as well… It’s easy to start hyper-focusing on one moment and lose sight of the bigger picture, when that’s what really matters in the long run.

    1. There is quote that says life is a sprint not a marathon. I think that’s so important to remember!

  18. I’ve definitely learned to run easy this year. Last year I was running every thing the same Pace and just trying to run as fast as I could all the time. Slowing down has made such a difference.

  19. I love number 3 Hollie. It’s so true and took me a long time to learn, but my life is so much more fulfilling multiple hobbies

    1. I agree as well Chuck. I think finding multiple hobbies was one of the best things I did for myself!

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