Other Episodes and Articles

342: Find Your Joy

Jan 18, 2024

As sports enthusiasts, one thing that we can universally acknowledge about running is that it is an intensely personal experience. The joy and satisfaction you derive from this sport are specific to your journey. Quite often, runners tend to measure their accomplishments against an established norm or predefined goals. However, it's crucial to remember that your running path should be unique to you, catering to your interests, health needs, and long-term goals. Let's delve into how you can find your joy in running, and write the narrative of your unique running journey.


Determining Your Measure of Success

The discussion around what equates to a successful running career is prolific, from achieving Boston Qualifying times to finishing marathons. But the bottom line is that everyone’s benchmark for success is different. It's helpful to understand that setting such goals can often lead you down a path of dissatisfaction, especially if these are not inherently aligned with your interests.

Rather than letting someone else's standards dictate your running journey, focus on crafting your definition of 'joy' or 'fun' in running. Maybe you prefer trail running to road races, or you want to prioritize overall health and stamina over achieving a specific timing. This shift towards individualized success measurement can change your relationship with running and heighten your sense of achievement.


Flexible Goals and Adaptable Running Journeys

Your running goals can and should be fluid and adaptable. You might begin the year training for a 5k, but then decide in the latter half to train for distance running. Perhaps you realize that you enjoy trail races over road races. These shifts are not only common; they're also part of the process of discovering your joy in running. 


Choosing Your Own Adventure

Always remember, your running journey is akin to a "choose your own adventure" novel. Everyone’s path will look different, and that’s exactly how it should be. Your journey could include a range of experiences, from participating in various running distances, discovering unchartered territories in your vicinity, to even trying out team races. Don't shy away from trying something new - you might discover a whole new aspect of running that brings you immense joy.


Ultimately, the key to finding joy in running is to create a journey that caters to your needs and preferences. Redefine the metrics of success to reflect your goals, focus on your unique journey, step out of societal expectations, and fearlessly explore new facets of running.

Remember, you have the power to design your journey. So remain open to possibilities, take control of your narrative, and most importantly, continue finding joy in running. Happy running!

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