Are you a real runner? Do you identify as a runner? What are some of the benefits of finally accepting this identity, and what can be some of the downfalls of identifying this way?
Over years of coaching I have watched many runners take on the identity of runner. Some are quick to accept while others take years to accept and may secretly still think they are not actually a runner. The issue is usually connected to a negative self image and poor comparisons of themselves versus other "real runners". Once someone finally accepts the title of “runner,” the improvements on the metal and physical sides can really take off.
As long as running remains a hobby and not an identity, there is always an excuse for missing a goal. When a runner goes all in, a concept that varies widely in the world of real life runners, they can start working towards improvements. Goals can be set, training can be focused, experiments can be run.
What about racing? Once you fully accept the identity of runner, races can become less intimidating. They understand that the running community will support them. They accept that a race is a chance to test themselves and learn how to continue improving. The best runners are always good enough because they are only competing against themselves. They are not competing against a clock or a previous personal best, but against the idea of greatness. They are always good enough to strive for greatness on the endless journey of running.
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