How to become a better runner.
As a runner this is obviously something that we all strive to be. As a runner you set goals, you plan a race calendar, perhaps you hire a coach, you get some new running kicks and running gear to prepare you for any kind of weather. As a runner you work to establish a schedule that allows you to fit in your running no matter what your daily schedule is like. As a runner sometimes you even justify wearing your running gear disguised as regular clothes because you need to squeeze in the miles during your only free moments.
Running becomes more than a passion. Running becomes an obsession and the quest in chasing time goals begins to consume every run.
Today I went for a short run after bootcamp which got me thinking about my own running and how I could get better at it.The notion of being better at running is defined by the goals that we place upon ourselves. This had me thinking a lot about whether being a better runner should be determined by those goals and whether or not the goals are met or by how we feel on the run.
I have to admit that a lot of my years have been spent chasing time goals and religiously watching my watch for carefully measured splits. While this is certainly an important part of achieving your time goals, with the intense focus on the watch often comes a loss for the feel of running. Running becomes stressed. The love for running can begin to fade away. Running can become a chore and tough workouts become feared.
After much contemplation I came to the conclusion that in order to be a better runner you must be able to hold on to the love of running while chasing your dream goals.
Here are my thoughts on how to go about becoming a better runner:
- Pick Your favorite running routes for those harder runs. Running in a place that you love will lift your heart even when the run is hard.
- Train with a friend who pushes you hard. Going it alone for a difficult workout never brings quite the same feeling. If you push each other through hard intervals you will know you have challenged yourself. High fives for everyone at the end!
- Ditch the watch when you can. Becoming focused on the numbers takes away the focus on how a run feels. Running without a watch allows you to listen to the rhythm of your body, your foot-strikes and your breathing. When you run without a watch you can focus on your form. Running without a watch and forgetting about the pace allows you to slip into the zone.
- Don’t worry about whether you are fast or slow. If you allow yourself to believe that you can never run faster you never will. We place limits on ourselves that often become realities. It’s time to break out of that mindset!
- Run more. run happy and run long. The friends in my life who I consider to be amazing runners all spend time running because they love it. They challenge themselves when they need to to get faster but they also run for the pure joy of getting out there and they run because they love it.
Please join me in sharing your best tips for how to become a better runner in the comments below!
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