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090: How practicing these two skills can make you a better runner

mindset May 30, 2019

Today’s episode is a little touchy-feely and asks you to actually get in touch with your emotions, but it’s entirely possible (and quite probable) that this episode will change your running more than us providing a variety of new workouts for you to try.

First, let’s establish one thing.  No one is starting with running from scratch.  Even if you have never run a step, you have some belief about running and how it relates to you.  This could be positive, as I thought the best part of every practice growing up was the part where we just ran.  Or negative, as Angie knew running as the thing you had to get through at the start of practice before “real practice” could begin.  

If you have run, regardless of the break or time off, you have physical and mental experiences with running that will carry over when you continue your running journey.  You can get back in shape easier than path to the same fitness level on the second or third go round. You still have the same muscle deficiency that caused the last injury.  You have the joy from your last race. You carry the disappointment from your last cycle if it did not end well. There are positives and negatives.

Regardless of where you are on your running journey, if you want to improve from your current place, you need to know where that place is.  There are some options. If you just ran a race, use that time. You could also find and run a race. If you do not want to pay for a race, or just stress out over races, try a personal time trial of 2 miles, or maybe 10 minutes.  Also try some strength tests. Try these exercises to failure. Wall-sits, squats, calf raises, pull-ups, push-ups, plank, and side plank. As a bonus, try videotaping yourself to make sure your form is on point.

Now the hard part, but also the best part.  Accept where you currently are with no judgement.  Avoid comparisons to others, or to a previous version of yourself.  Simply accept that the time trial and strength tests are checkpoints on your journey that can help guide the next stage.  Do not lie about your current state, that is simply destroying the foundation you are building from.

How do you accept your current physical state, especially if it is not where you want to be?  Forgiveness. Forgive yourself of any backwards steps, sidesteps, or poor choices that landed you where you are.  You can’t change them anyway. Truly, anything you are perceiving as negative was designed to teach you a lesson and help you grow.  On a higher level, you can look at your struggles and find the lessons to learn. On an easier level, you can forgive yourself of any missteps and move forward.  

Forgiveness at the starting point known as today allows you to progress at the correct pace.  You are less likely to try to go too fast and get back on the injury cycle. You can approach future races as another checkpoint and alleviate some of the nerves.  You do not have to immediately be at the level you were at three months ago, five years ago, or even two kids ago. You can accept where you are and step forward.

Resources:

Hope you enjoy it!! Let us know if you have any questions that you would like answered on our show!    

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