REAL LIFE RUNNERS PODCAST: EPISODE #267 – Something to Prove (Transcript)
ANGIE: Hey everybody! Thank you so much for joining us today on Episode # 267 of the Real Life Runners podcast.
Today, we're gonna be talking about one of the biggest mistakes we see so many runners making and five of the signs, five of the main signs, so that you can tell if you might be making this mistake and not even realizing it.
So, if that sounds interesting, stay tuned!
KEVIN: Right. This is a good one. We've got . I mean, it's, it's a big mistake that, it's not just a new runner mistake. It's sometimes you've been running for years and then you slide into it. Maybe you started with this, you overcame it then you slid back into it. What is this mistake that we're kind of alluding to here.
ANGIE: Well, I would say that it is more common in newer runners, but I do think that like seasoned runners can also make this mistake
ANGIE: But before we tell you what that mistake is,
KEVIN: Ooh, making 'em wait even more, more suspense.
ANGIE: Next week is our free five day running challenge. So, I wanna slip in and remind you guys to sign [00:01:00] up for our five day running challenge. Even if you have never done one of our challenges before. Well, us, I should say, especially if you've never done one of our challenges before, but even if you have done one of our challenges before, we would still encourage you to sign up because we change things up a little bit, each time to make it better, we take feedback based on past challenges and try to make it more relevant, more applicable, more useful to you. And if you're like, ah, yeah, but it's free like, so how good could it be? It's amazing. I am telling you how..
KEVIN: Good sell!
ANGIE: Many messages I have gotten about people that have completely transformed their running just based on these five days. People that have never paid us a dime, people that have never signed up for our program, and just based on what they learn inside the five day running challenge, they've completely transformed their entire running experience. So, if you are frustrated with lack of progress. If you're frustrated by injury, if you're [00:02:00] frustrated by just not having the results in your running that you think you should have, or if running just doesn't feel good to you and you want it to feel better and you're frustrated because you feel like it, it should be feeling better by now. Come join our challenge! We wanna help you move from that place of frustration, into that place of joy and excitement and motivation, you know, that renewed sense of excitement around running around your training and that's what we wanna help you do in our free five day running challenge. We start next week, August 15th through the 19th, you can sign up over at 5dayrunningchallenge.com
KEVIN: The number or the word?
ANGIE: Yes, the number or the word, the number five or the, the word five day running challenge.com. You can do either one. So yeah, five day running challenge.com. Come join us. Um, plus we just love to hang out with you guys. We love to get to know runners around the world. That's one of my favorite parts of these challenges is really just getting to know more runners. And, and to really understand, you know, what you all are struggling with and then help you really start to break those obstacles down one by one so that you can achieve whatever it is that you wanna achieve in your running.
KEVIN: Yeah. You really love chatting with people and then helping them knock down the obstacles within the actual live challenge.
ANGIE: It makes me so happy to like help people see what they're truly capable of.
KEVIN: You also do get very excited on day one in the opening five minutes when people just announce where they're coming from. And we get people from around the world, which is a blast too.
ANGIE: It's so fun. Nice. It's so fun. So. Um, fived running challenge.com is where you're gonna find that. Okay. So now let's move on to that. Number one mistake.
ANGIE: Is that we
KEVIN: the big mistake
ANGIE: so many runners making overarching
KEVIN: is not signing [email protected]
ANGIE: No, but if you do sign up for the five day running challenge, we can help you get out of this mistake. Okay. Okay. That's like really one of the biggest things that we do actually inside the challenge and this mistake that we see so many people making is trying to prove that they are a runner
ANGIE: and what we want you to understand is that you don't have to prove that you're a runner. If you run you're a runner. If you've listened to our podcast, you've probably heard us say that before. There's no qualifying time. There's no qualifying distance.
There's no qualifying standard. For you to say, I am a runner. And once you start to take on that identity, and this is something we're definitely gonna be talking about next week in the challenge, things can completely transform for you. Okay. But how do you know if you're actually making this mistake? Right. So. Some of you, this might be obvious. You're like, yeah, I jog, but I'm not actually a runner. You don't call yourself a runner. Right.
KEVIN: Some people might actually be using the phrase. I'm not really a runner.
ANGIE: Yeah. Right. And so obviously you would be falling into that trap of not believing that you're a runner, but I think that a lot of people actually fall into this trap of like feeling that they have to prove that they're a runner, but they don't actually know that they feel like they have to prove that they're a runner. Right? And so a lot of times what happens is we see people that end up getting injured because they're pushing too much, too early. We see people that are experiencing a lack of satisfaction with their running, because they're constantly comparing themselves to other people. Like these things kind of seem a little innocuous, right. They can kind of remain hidden and we don't even really know that they're there. Um, or we see stagnation.
KEVIN: Yeah, stagnation, right? Because the it's just a general lack of enjoyment. Yeah. In your training, it's hard to keep pushing yourself. You're trying to race. You're trying to train, you're trying to do all of the things, literally trying to do all of the things about, oh, look at how many miles I'm running and all of the races that I'm in. And it, it seems like you're just trying to be, you know, really good quality runner, but maybe what you're actually saying is I don't feel like a runner myself. Yeah. So if I do all these outward things, that'll be enough.
ANGIE: Right. It's like, you're trying to prove it to yourself or to somebody else. Right. And so if you've ever found yourself injured, if you've. Always feel like you need to do more or push harder or push more. If you feel like you're just not enjoying it. If you feel like you're constantly comparing yourself and you're like, well, I started running around the same time as that person, but that person's faster than me. I should be faster by now. Why am I not getting faster? If these are things that have run through your head, you might be suffering from this idea of trying to prove that you're a runner without even knowing it. So, we want to kind of break down some of. The five top mistakes that we see people making that might indicate that you could be believing that you need to prove somehow to yourself or to other people that you are a runner. And I, I think that. It's even bigger for ourselves. I don't think that we necessarily have to prove it to other people sometimes. Like I said, I think that there is sometimes,
KEVIN: sometimes we try to prove it to other people. Yeah. But I think that if we're trying to prove to other people it's cuz we probably don't actually believe it ourselves. Yeah. Like once you fully accept that you're a runner yourself. Mm-hmm who cares if you need to prove to anybody else. You've fully accepted this. We did this on our cross team. We're starting the season back up and have returning runners. You asked all the kids on the team. Do you think that you're a runner and we did not get a hundred percent response on this one? Yeah. And it was interesting to see who said they were, who said they weren't and then they, they all started trying to define runner. It was a very interesting conversation with, with some younger runners.
ANGIE: Yeah. And it, it was fun. So let's get into the first mistake that we see a lot of people making. Okay. So one big mistakes that we see a lot of runners, especially new runners making, but really any, any experience level is race hopping or signing up for a race before you're actually ready just so you can check off that box.
KEVIN: Mm-hmm yeah. Race hopping of, if I'm not racing, then I'm not really a runner. Yeah. Like. I just, I ran a race last week, but I better sign up for another one so that the world knows that I'm a runner. Mm-hmm , it's, it's not being satisfied with that race that you had. It's not being satisfied with the training. So, you just have to keep signing up for the next race so that you can keep showing other people look at all the medals they have. Like somehow there's gonna be a finish line that you cross that instead of the metal, they're actually just gonna hand you a plaque that says, congratulations, you're now a runner. That there's not that plaque doesn't exist.
ANGIE: It doesn't. But I think that like a lot of us can feel that by putting that bib on our chest, that that's like a sign that we are in fact, a runner, like that's like outwards sign and symbol that we are a runner. And then we take our photos and we get to post them on Instagram and Facebook and show everybody else. Yes, indeed. I actually am a runner, right. Because I, here I am and I have a bib of my chest. Right. And I think that it's, it's very common and there's nothing wrong with this. We, I think that. A lot of people do this. I would say most runners do this at some point in their running journey. Um, of, yes. Wouldn't you?
KEVIN: Yes. So at some point in time and I mean.
ANGIE: I mean, I feel like I definitely fell into a lot of these traps. Like I probably have made all of these mistakes that we're gonna talk about today. So there's nothing wrong with you if you've make made these mistakes. Our point of this episode is to point them out so that you can be like, oh, Yeah, I am doing that maybe there is this underlying sense that I have something to prove. Yeah. And maybe we can help you to start to let that go a little bit because it
KEVIN: Maybe sooner than we did I, cuz I'm pretty sure I'm five for five on these also. Yeah. so, um, but yeah, there, there is something about putting that, that number onto your chest that's like, all right, this is the race and you know, you, you and you run a 5k and that number then suddenly change your feeling that you're a runner. So you're like, well, shoot. Now I have to do the 10 K and if the 10 K didn't do it, I better sign up for a half marathon. And suddenly the race distances just keep going like a longer distance is gonna bring you satisfaction. Longer distance is not gonna bring you greater satisfaction. It's just gonna be more tiring quite frankly.
ANGIE: I mean, I mean, it might. Right, but it's, it's not actually the distance that's gonna do it. It's whatever your thought about that distance is. Right. So in your head, you have this idea of what a runner is or what a real runner is or what it's going to take for you to actually feel like a runner and in your head, maybe that is a 5k. Maybe it's a 10 K maybe it's a marathon, whatever that distance is in your head, where you are like, yeah, once I finally do that, Then I'll be a runner. So, it's not actually the distance that proves that you're the runner. It's what you make that distance mean. It's your thought about that distance, which is why it's so important for you to feel connected to the goal so that you can actually enjoy the journey and the process of actually getting to that place. Right? A lot of people will just kind of hop from race to race, trying to find that satisfaction and they're missing out on that connection to the goal or to the journey. They're trying to find something that's going to make them feel a certain way without realizing, oh, it's like, actually just the way that I'm thinking about it, that's going to help me feel differently. Um, it's not something that I actually have to do.
KEVIN: Yeah. I think race hopping is a big way to avoid enjoying the journey mm-hmm because you just keep constantly racing. You don't get to ever like settle into a training cycle and look, there's nothing wrong. If you really enjoy racing, being part of the community mm-hmm, there's something about tra settling into a training cycle without a race for like, just a few months cuz I know we've got people that listen that I'm sure race all the time and they just, they love racing. That's great. But part of, of the, the running experience, I think, is found both in racing and in the time chunks where you're not racing, I think both are just, they, they make a nice well-rounded runner. Mm-hmm , you know, and certainly if you are trying to say, look, I, I need to prove that I'm a runner. by upping your distance by saying like, all right, I've been running for six months. I guess, it's time I sign up for that marathon. This could lead to some issues where you start signing up for races that you're just physically not ready for, mm-hmm like if you went couch to 5k and you finished the 5k, that's not time to sign up for the marathon. That's probably going to rush the timeline. It doesn't mean that the race is, is impossible. It's certainly not. Right. The timeline just might not be set up the best for your success.
ANGIE: Yeah. And I think that this is like really individual and it's really important for us to kind of understand what kind of foundation we need to attempt certain races to actually get into those training plans. And I actually got a phone call, um, today actually I got a text yesterday from a good friend of mine who was like, Hey, I'm thinking about running a half marathon. What do you think? And I'm like, well, you know, why do you wanna do it? I start asking her some questions. I'm like getting all excited. I love
KEVIN: you straight to the why do you wanna do it?
ANGIE: Of course I did. To the biggest, right. But it's like, you know, um, she was like, oh, well I just really wanna a goal. You know, it's it, it was a classic conversation because so many runners are like, well, I feel like if I have a goal and if I have a race on a calendar, then I will be consistent then I will feel motivated then I will do X, Y, and Z mm-hmm . And I think that this is one of the, the traps that a lot of us fall into. I think it's fine. Every now and then, right. I think it's fine. Maybe at the beginning to like, have that goal and set that goal, but the problem is most of us get that timeline wrong.
ANGIE: Right. Like based on where we are right now, how soon should that half marathon be? So I, I, you know, text her back and I said, well, I think you should kind of build up your base first and maybe instead of a three month cycle let's look at more of like six months, six months, right? Yep. Based on where you are right now like, and she's like, oh, okay. She's like my biggest goal is to just get stronger and not get hurt and I was like, oh, there you go. Yeah. And I was like, well, if that's the case, then like, let's just do this a little, let's stretch it out a little bit so that you can be better prepared for that race in the future.
KEVIN: Yeah. Then you set yourself up for success and enjoyment in the race. Then you might wanna do another race in the future. Yeah. Because it was so much fun, so exciting. but she wanted a half marathon. No, no, she didn't. She actually just wanted to be in better shape and stronger.
ANGIE: Right. And so she thought, well, maybe a half marathon because her husband actually did his first full marathon. Mm-hmm um, I think a few months ago, like in the spring, and then he was like, well, you know, you should really do something like this. And she's like, I have no desire to do a full marathon. And she's like, but maybe a half, you know? And so it was like, that's kind of what planted that seed in her mind. And I think it's fantastic you know, I think that races can be really great motivators for a lot of us. The problem is when we is, when we use them as our sole motivator and we feel like we have to have that race on the calendar in order for us to train consistently, that's where it becomes problematic.
KEVIN: Yes. All right. So that's, that's pretty good. I think on the first one, you highlighted a good one on that, that kind of slides a little bit into the next one of someone else's training goal should not necessarily be your training goal. Mm-hmm, someone else's training paces should not necessarily be your training paces, which moves into the next one of, pushing harder all the time to keep up with your training group. Mm-hmm like running with other people is great. Mm-hmm I don't do it very often. You love running with other people. You do it on a much more regular basis than I do, but sometimes running with other people means that the group that you're with is faster than you or slower than you mm-hmm and you're not necessarily running at your pace.
ANGIE: Yeah. And I think that this can also lead to those things that we were talking about before, you know, it can lead to injury. It can lead to that lack of enjoyment and lack of satisfaction. It can very, very easily lead to that comparison. trap that so many runners sign themselves.
KEVIN: It's designed for the comparisons.
ANGIE: That's exactlywhat it's designed for, right? Because you're literally there and you're running with people, especially if you're newer to a running group and you're running with people maybe that have been running for a decade and you just kind of started running a couple of years ago, maybe during the pandemic, a lot of runners took up running during the pandemic. Right. And so all of a sudden you jump into this running group, you're like, okay, you know, Things are getting back to normal. I wanna meet some more people and you see people kind of going out on these longer runs and they're just chatting and things are, you know, and you're just struggling to keep up. Right. If, if you've ever had that experience where you've been a part of a running group and you are just like pushing really hard, and you're looking at these other people who seem to be doing it with so much ease and you're like, what the heck? You know, like I. Can't believe I am this far behind . I can't believe that these people are in such better shape than I am. I must not be a very good runner. I must just be slow. Right. And we automatically start comparing ourselves to those people. And the problem with this is that again, it leads to that lack of satisfaction, that lack of enjoyment and leads so many people to just keep pushing harder, to try to get faster, which ends up leading to injury in a lot of cases, unfortunately.
KEVIN: Yeah. This is what I refer to as college. Like I was if I surrounded myself with all Americans and I was walking on, on the back of the team and I, it was like, I could keep up on easy days. Mm. But they weren't easy days for me. They were easy days for everybody else. So then the next day was a workout and we were supposed to go faster and I was already exhausted mm-hmm because, well, that was supposed to be easy and it wasn't like I was going super, super hard. It definitely was not like a comfortable, easy pace to me. Yeah. So then I showed up on Tuesday and I, I was never keeping up on the workouts mm-hmm spit out the back of that one. Then supposed to go off on an easy run again on Wednesday, like I'm exhausted. Mm-hmm tried that one for a while. Led to a lot of injury, a lot of comparison, a lot of telling myself that I was a really slow runner regardless of what the clock said, right. Because what I was physically seeing is I cannot keep up with the people around me. Mm-hmm it was completely irrelevant. It never crossed my mind how fast those people around me actually were that's who I was running with on a daily basis and they were way faster so I must be slow.
ANGIE: Right. But anyone else that was like comparing themselves to you would see you as like an elite runner, then they're like, oh my gosh, he's so fast. Right? Like if. Me and my running group, you know, compared ourselves to you, it's like, oh my gosh, Kevin is like so much faster, so much of a better runner like this and that. Right.
KEVIN: That's why I, I chuckle every time somebody in your running group says that to me, because I'm like, , you have no idea where I was in college. Cuz I had the exact same thought with my crew.
ANGIE: Yeah. And I think that this is such an interesting point because I see a lot of this actually like even in the online running groups, um, where people will post their times and like, say it's a runner like you, that tends to be faster. Right. And you're like, I really would like to get my 5k time faster or this time faster and I actually. even saw it happen um, re like this week where someone's like, you know, I run my 5k at this time and I really would like to get faster and then someone else chimed in and was like, but that's already really fast, you know?
KEVIN: Oh, that's a, it's like, that's a tough one.
ANGIE: People can sometimes unknowingly like shame people for being fast. Mm-hmm, , it's just the way that people like shame you for your body type. Right. Mm-hmm like people for Kevin. And if you guys have listened to the podcast for a while, you know that Kevin, um, ran an ultra-marathon a couple of months ago and one of his biggest struggles in that process was putting weight on and actually keeping it on, like he had to gain weight so that he could actually complete this, this race. And so many people are in the opposite of camp of like, they want to lose weight. And so they see someone who has a hard time gaining weight. And so many times the first thing they say is, oh, I wish I had that problem. Right. And I used to be one of these people too.
KEVIN: No one wishes they had any problems.
ANGIE: It, but how many times have you said heard people say that to you though?
KEVIN: I, I know, but just think about that line. I know if, if you removed the wor I wish I had problem, right? No one wishes they had problem mm-hmm
ANGIE: because it's a problem for. Yes. Right. It's a problem for you, but what they see, your problem is not a current problem for them. So, so they see, well, I I'd rather have that problem than this problem.
KEVIN: It's grass is always greener issue. Correct? Of, I don't know what that problem feels like. Yeah. I bet it's easier than one I'm dealing with.
ANGIE: Well, and I think that that's one of the interesting things and why running is so interestingly, relative, right? Like you looking at your time on paper mm-hmm you are faster than what, 99, 90 8% of lots people, all runners, right? Like you are so fast, but based on where you were and the, the, um, exact environment that you were in,
KEVIN: like the tiny little bubble of all Americans, I was surrounding myself with
ANGIE: the tiny bubble of all Americans division one college cross country runners, which is already a tiny pool of people. Yeah. Right. You're coming into that group and comparing yourself to them. Like people are like, well, look at you and be like, why would you ever feel bad about your time? And you're like, yeah. But look at who I'm comparing myself to. Yeah. It's just being human. It's just that comparison trap. So no matter what kind of running group you're in, you could be comparing yourself and finding yourself if, if you're finding yourself at the back of that pack per you know, with slower times and always trying to push harder a lot of times that can lead to just, you know, is that coming from that idea of needing to prove yourself, do, are you trying to prove it to yourself? That you're good enough to keep up with this group to be a part of this group. Right. And you might not even be consciously aware of this, but unconsciously subconsciously, there's probably a part of your brain that's like, I better do x Y or Z, so that I can keep up with these people so that I can be part of this group part of the tribe, because our human brains do not like to be isolated. We want to always be a part of the tribe and so in our brain, our brain's like, well, you gotta get, you gotta make it happen, you gotta prove that you're worthy enough to be a part of this running group.
KEVIN: Your hamstrings are screaming. No, no, no. We need to slow down a little bit.
ANGIE: Yeah. But in reality, most, a lot of running groups out there, they don't care. I know that's how my running group is like. Nobody cares about anybody's pace. We all like meet up. We start running. If, if sometimes people fall behind, some people are struggling that day mm-hmm and some people go ahead and we all meet up at the end and have Starbucks.
KEVIN: There you go.
ANGIE: You know, because we're all runners and we're all out there doing the hard things and all supporting each other in the process.
KEVIN: Yeah. I think sliding along right with the pushing harder to keep up the training group is the next big mistake, which is avoiding walking breaks. Mm-hmm . I, it slides exactly into this thing of, there's a lot of people that are like, well, if I'm gonna be a runner, if I'm gonna be a real runner, like real somehow makes it a different thing, then I can't take walking breaks on my run. I certainly have to be able to run the entire time. Mm-hmm and then, often they'll throw like an arbitrary number on the back of it. I have to be able to run for 30 minutes straight. I have to be able to run for 45 and they they'll just pick a random number out of the air also. But for some reason, throwing walking breaks prevents the whole real runner, which is not true at all. Sometimes walking breaks are super important mm-hmm so that you can actually, you know, maybe you want to extend the time that you can be exercising. Maybe you you're going from a 5k to a 10 K and you need to be out there instead of 30 minutes, you're gonna stretch that to 40, 50 out to an hour. Walking breaks are going to help you do that mm-hmm if, if a walking break is necessary to maintain what feels like an easy effort, because most of your running should be easy. Some people can go off and run for, for that whole time. Some people in order to make it stay easy, need a regular walking break,
ANGIE: right. Because more and faster is not always better. Okay. Like, let me say that again. More mileage and faster mileage is not always better. Like Kevin just said most of your mileage needs to be at that easy effort level. And so for you, especially during the summer, like right now, I don't know where you are all are located, but here in south Florida, it is freaking hot and in order for me to maintain my easy runs actually easy. Sometimes I need to take walking breaks and it's, I shouldn't say need to, but I wanna take walking breaks, right? Like, and that's not me not pushing myself. Right. A lot of us wanna make it mean, like if we take a walking break, that means I'm not pushing myself, that means I'm not pushing hard enough, that means I'm not doing this right, that means I'm not a runner, that means I'm not a real runner, whatever we wanna make it mean. But again, it all goes back to what we want to make it mean it all, it all goes back to this idea of, am I trying to prove something to myself? What is this arbitrary limit or this arbitrary, um, qualification that I have set up for myself saying that well, you know, okay, well, If you take one walking break, are you still a runner? Is that still considered a run? You know, if I take two walking breaks, if I take a walking break every five minutes, am I still a runner? Is this still actually a run? You know, like there's all these different qualifications. And if you could ask 10 different people, you'd probably get 10 different answers. Right. Unless they listen to this podcast and be like, yeah, you're still a runner. That's still a runner, still a run. Like it doesn't really matter. Right. Um
KEVIN: Hopefully you get more and more people that start falling into that one.
ANGIE: I hope so, because here's the other thing too. It's not just on easy runs that walking breaks are important. During speed work, walking breaks are very, very important and very welcomed, right? So, like if you're trying to get faster, One of the things that you need to do is speed work. You need to start incorporating higher level speed into your training plan. And when you're trying to hit higher level speeds, your body actually needs more time to recover. And if you don't give yourself the proper recovery. You again, increase your risk for injury and you're going to, especially if it's something where you're doing like multiple repetitions in multiple sets, it's gonna be much harder for you to hit those higher paces and those higher speeds on the back half of the workout if you're not taking those walking breaks during the front half.
KEVIN: That's funny. That was, um, a joke on a podcast. I was listening to. Yeah. I was watching the world championships with his wife and he goes, oh, you can, you can tell where, which one of the sprinters, when they were showing coverage of like the warmup track, mm-hmm like, which ones are the sprinters? And she goes, how can you tell those are the sprinters? He goes, they're walking the slowest. Like not, not during the faster portion cause everybody looks pretty quick when they're in the faster portion, but the sprinters have no need to rush anything during the walking portion. It's like I got, when I'm gonna run, I'm gonna run real fast. Yeah. So when I'm walking, I'm gonna take my walking break and enjoy the walking break.
ANGIE: Right? So avoiding walking breaks does not prove that you're a runner, okay? So that's mistake number three that we've seen. So, so far we've talked about race hopping and signing up for race and doing races before you're actually ready for them that does not prove you're a runner. Pushing harder to keep up with your training group does not prove that you're a runner. Avoiding walking breaks does not prove that you're a runner number four, run streaks. Okay. Run streaks, hitting a run streak does not prove that you're a runner or another one would be like, that's kind of related to this is limiting yourself to only one rest day per week. Okay. That's another thing.
KEVIN: That's a slippery slope point. Yeah. That I've seen some people, some people are like, okay, fine. I don't, I don't have a run streak. Like that person over there. They've got a hundred day run streak. That's not me.
ANGIE: I take a rest day every week.
KEVIN: I take a rest day. I take one rest day, every single week, but heaven forbid they that the second one falls onto their calendar. Mm-hmm you essentially have a run streak.
ANGIE: I've fallen into that. Right. Yeah. Stop calling me out.
KEVIN: it's me too. I know it's a runs. It's a
ANGIE: you become much better about it though,
KEVIN: of taking a rest day when I need to take a rest day. Yeah. And, uh,
ANGIE: and not freaking out when unplanned rest days hit the calendar also.
KEVIN: Yes, it's usually I can, I can work with an unplanned rest day. It's the third, just like consecutive, unplanned risk day. Mm-hmm . It's not necessarily that. I think my training is getting completely derailed cuz it's three days you're gonna spring back from that. Your body's actually probably gonna feel amazing off of that one cuz you didn't work out for the last three days. Um,
ANGIE: unless you beat yourself up mentally the entire time.
KEVIN: Right? I just get like. Itchy to get running again. Right. I'm like, I, I miss being out and running in all the things that come with that I miss, you know, all the good, happy chemicals that come from the run I miss. Like, there's a lot of positives that come with it. Yeah. But I'm less freaking out like, oh my God, I'm completely out of shape because I took two days off in a row. No, you're not, you're not actually in terrible shape cause you took two days off in a row.
ANGIE: Right. And so, you know, don't get us wrong. There's nothing inherently wrong with a run streak. We just want you to ask yourself, why am I doing this? Right? Like, what does this run streak mean about me? There are some people that believe that if I don't run every day, I'm going to fall outta the habit. And then like I miss one day and that's it. I'm done. Right. And, and if that is you, that is you needing, needing to run every single day in order to prove to yourself that you're a runner and in order to maintain that consistency, when in reality, consistency is simply a choice and you, again, get to define what consistency is. So, consistency right now. Like if you are the person that needs to be on that run streak, you are defining consistency as I must run everyday. You can change your definition of consistency anytime you want to.
ANGIE: Like, and this is the such like it's, it's sucha crazy thing. When you realize how much power you actually have over all of this.
KEVIN: Well, this is one of my other fun things about run streak is people who have a run streak have created in their head what is the minimum amount of mileage they need to do on a day to maintain, to, to consider themselves still on their streak.
ANGIE: Yeah. It's often a mile often a mile. Yeah. But sometimes it's a 5k, right? Mm-hmm, ,
KEVIN: it's often a mile if you're dealing with somebody in the us, but I'm pretty sure that the rest of the world doesn't say I have to run at least a mile mm-hmm like most people that are metric, do you have to be out for a kilometer cuz that's shorter. So that would be a conceivably easier.
Is it right straight to maintain? Is it a time? Yeah. Do you just have to be out for 10 minutes? Is it 15 minutes? Right. You get to define what that is. Yes. Right. And so there's that end of it also.
ANGIE: Well, so that's the fun part of all of this and that's actually evidence that you are the one that gets decide because you're the one that got to decide. What the run streak even [00:31:00] started with in the first place. Yep. So if you wanna change it, you can change it anytime you want. So in your head, If you decided, you know what I've heard all of this research, I think it would be a good idea for me to take a, a full rest day every week. You could still call that a, a run streak if you wanted to, you could define six days of running as a run streak. And there's people that will probably disagree with me and call, you know, say that,
KEVIN: think any run streaker would disagree with you
ANGIE: and that's okay. That's okay. But what I would like to offer is that you can define consistency and your running however you want to.
KEVIN: You can define your consistency, however you want to. Yeah. And you know, I'm not a huge fan of run streaks. I had one mm-hmm um, and I felt really tied to it. The streak itself started feeling heavy. Yeah. And once it started feeling heavy, I kept pushing for, I'm not sure what reason. And eventually it felt heavy enough that I'm like, Nope. I need to not run today [00:32:00] mm-hmm so that I don't have this weight of having to run. Yeah. Like I had to break it.
ANGIE: Well, and it's so interesting because now there's like these social media streaks, which I just learned about within the last couple of weeks.
ANGIE: People have Snapchat streaks, like with their friends. So it's like, if you message your friend. They count how many days a message has been sent yes. Between those two people.
KEVIN: Yes. I remember that being a thing.
ANGIE: Right. And so it's like, I've got a, um, streak, a Snapchat streak of a hundred days with this person. Right. Um, and our girls play some, some games on their devices as well, which also count how many days we've logged in. Like there was one day that they weren't allowed on their devices. I think both of them like lost privileges for some reason or another. And they were like, but what about my streak? And I was like, you're what? And I was like, honestly, just the fact that you have a streak is even more reason for me to take your device away, because like you just said, it becomes like an addictive thing that you have to do because these video games and these social media apps and all of these things, these developers are very good at getting people addicted to their platform because that's what they're going for. Like they want to addict you. They want to have you on their platform for as long as possible.
KEVIN: Making, making a streak seem like a big thing. Yeah. And giving prizes along the way, which is what the games do. Mm-hmm every time you hit so many days you get another prize and if you get even more days than your prize improves yeah. It, that can also be happening with your run streak. And you're kind, you're giving yourself mental prizes along the way. Maybe you are in fact, actually giving yourself rewards that you, you were able to streak for an entire month and then you get something for yourself , but you're still, you're kind of giving power to the run streak. Just make sure that you know why you're doing it. Yeah. And that, that you never try and, and run streak through an injury, an illness. Like if you really should take an off day, take an off day.
ANGIE: Mm-hmm . I mean, there are people that, you know, had COVID and were still trying to run. Yep. You know, like I saw a lot of that on social media, like, or any sort of illness, like you said, and they're like, well, I still got my mile in and I'm like, is that the best choice? Like I'm not gonna judge. I don't know. You know, I don't know how bad their symptoms were. I don't know whatever, but the question it just becomes is that the best choice for you right now? Like is that streak becoming something that's actually supporting you as a runner, that's going to actually help you progress and move forward. Or would letting go of that run streak and changing your training up a little bit and giving yourself an extra rest day, would that actually lead to more progress? Right? Because a lot of runners are so frustrated because they're not progressing. And one's like, well maybe if you just recovered a little bit more and let go of these things that are no longer serving that new goal of, I wanna get faster, I wanna be able to progress.
I wanna. Run longer. You maybe that run streak served its purpose already, right? Maybe we can close the door that run streak gave you the consistency to get you to where you are right now. We can say thank you to that run streak, and then let it go peacefully. Right. And then say, okay, now I'm ready to move on to the next step. The next phase of my running journey. And that's going to require me to follow this training plan and according to this training plan, I should be taking a rest day or even if I
don't wanna plan in a rest day. I am willing to put a rest day in if I'm feeling tired. And if I feel like my body really needs it.
KEVIN: Yep. Yep. A hundred percent. Remember, a few years ago there was a guy that showed up at, at school. I was in middle of track practice. Mm-hmm he was on an insane run streak. He was coming to introduce himself and see if I needed like help as a volunteer coaching practice.
ANGIE: Oh, I vaguely remember that.
KEVIN: He had like a 20 plus year run streak. At one point he had to have surgery. I wanna say something to the effect of like he was getting his appendix removed. Like it wasn't like a super crazy intense surgery. Yeah. He ran the morning before the surgery. Mm-hmm had the surgery as early in the morning as possible, and then ran a mile, looping the parking lot of the hospital the day.
ANGIE: Yeah, like after then day after and the night.
KEVIN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was like 24 hours postsurgery.
ANGIE: Yeah. Is that the best choice?
KEVIN: It didn't seem like a long term positive health choice, I mean,
ANGIE: and who knows? Maybe it was fine, you know, like maybe he was totally fine.
KEVIN: We don't know, know for an interesting anecdote in a runner's world article, but mm-hmm, I don't know if that was necessarily the best long term thing. Yeah. But you pointed out in that one of the, maybe the running streak has served me and now I'm onto this new training plan. Mm-hmm , which leads to the last big mistake that we see which is following someone else's training plan. Yeah. Okay. We're
ANGIE: trying to prove you're a runner. So you're following someone else's plan to prove that you can do that thing.
KEVIN: Yes. Yes. It kind of falls along with a, a similar thing of assuming that someone else's timeline progression will match yours. Mm-hmm what they followed this plan. They were able to get from a, to B in three months. I should be able to get it from a, to B in three months and then it doesn't work the same.
ANGIE: Yeah. Because turns out you're in fact, two different human beings. So with two different life and two different lifestyles and two different bodies and all the things, right? Like two humans just naturally adapt differently to the same exact training stimulus. Right? Like you can. Literally follow the same exact training plan and get two totally different results because of all of the other factors that go into how your body adapts to training.
KEVIN: Yeah. I mean, we have a general training plan of all the kids on our cross country team. Yeah. But even within that, we have to adjust it. Because we get a kid that shows up and they're like, coach, I feel real sick today. Or my calves are killing me. I really don't think that I can go for a run, whatever thing shows up, maybe they miss an easy day. Okay. So now we're gonna adjust it this way. Maybe they miss a speed day. Maybe you know, they just have a doctor's appointment and they miss a thing. So that workout we were gonna do, they can't do on their own. They're just gonna go on an easy run at home. Right. Everybody gets a slightly different plan. Right. Which means they're not all going to follow the exact same thing, but there's overarching principles that are gonna work.
ANGIE: Yeah. And if, if we adjust some of these kids plans, because they, you know, like you said, say doctor's appointments mm-hmm so like we've definitely had pretty much every year that this is that we've been coaching.
KEVIN: I mean, they're high school kids. They're getting braces on and off seemingly every other week. Right.
ANGIE: So it's like, okay, like the team did a workout on Wednesday, but you know, Mary missed practice. And she, then we took her through that workout on Thursday.
KEVIN: Oh, Mary always was missing practices. Well, , I just made this up.
ANGIE: I have no idea who we're talking about, but you know, let's say on Wednesday it was bright and sunny out and on Thursday it was like cloudy and 10 degrees cooler. Yep. Those are gonna be two very different experiences of the same exact workout. Right. So I think that that's one thing to keep in mind as well.
KEVIN: Yes, that's a very good point cuz we, I think had that happen last year. Mm-hmm where there were kids, there were a couple of kids that missed for one thing on, on Tuesday, they did the workout on Wednesday and it. Like it was as though we were in two completely different.
ANGIE: Yeah. The times were so much better.
KEVIN: Yeah. Like it, the one was completely overcast it was like mising yeah and 20 degrees cooler. It was like, okay, well these are ideal conditions. And yesterday we were all like, we did the workout inside of an easy bake oven. so it was. It was not cool. All right. So right. Your training plan needs to work for you. Yeah. This is the thing is sure there's some overarching principles, but your training plan ultimately has to work for you that means it has to fit your schedule. Like your life schedule, your work schedule, whatever it is, it has to fit your goal. Mm-hmm okay. And it has to be sustainable long term I think depending on what it is, some people are like, okay, I'm super focused on this goal so I can kind of adjust, make running my priority for like the next three months mm-hmm but then you have to go back to a different thing. So think about how you want that plan to look, is this a set up for like long term sustainability? Is this something you can sustain for like a three month window? What are you talking about? And then it has to be enjoyable. Like I think that you have to have fun with the plan. Yeah. Because. You know, if it's a plan of any length and it's not enjoyable on any day mm-hmm , you're gonna get fed up real quick with it, no matter how awesome the goal is.
ANGIE: Yeah. And I think that that's really like going back to the whole topic of this podcast of like, are you trying to prove that you're a runner, right? And if you are like, are you using your training plan to prove that you're a runner? Right. Like my training plan has to be hard, you know, like I, even though I'm actually a beginner, I'm going to download and follow the intermediate training plan that I found on this website.
KEVIN: Stop looking at me. When you say that one,
ANGIE: stop looking at you.
KEVIN: Yeah. May have done that one repeatedly. I'm just gonna automatically assume that I'm in the advanced plan.
ANGIE: Yeah, no, I'm not right, but you never, but, but that's part of the problem with generic plans, right? Like, and, and that's exactly what we just talked about here of like, you need that personalized plan that fits you and your goal and your lifestyle and all the things. Because if you download a generic plan from the internet, or from, you know, the Nike app or whatever app you're using. Um, there's tons of plans on all of these apps now do, how do you know if that plan is actually right for you? And I think that that's a really valid question. And I think that, especially when you get into some of these apps that really have just a few training plans, you're like, okay, beginner and media, intermediate and advanced. Like I I'm probably here, you know, and, and maybe you are in some sense, but in like another sense, you're not quite there yet.
KEVIN: Yeah. Maybe you have enough speed that you could conceivably keep up with, like the workout suggested. Yeah. But you don't have the mileage to start that plan or the strength base or the strength base to start that plan. Yeah. This is kind of where I was on, like going all the way back to my last year of college. When I signed up for a marathon, I, I got a book of like how to run a marathon. I forget exactly what plan I was following. And I went to the plans in the back. There was literally beginner, intermediate and advanced mm-hmm and I, I looked at the mileage of intermediate and I'm like, well, I run more than that. Mm-hmm . And I looked at the workouts on advanced and I'm like, I don't think I could do that because it was like, now on this Sunday, you're gonna do 10 miles at marathon race pace. I'm like, I don't think I could do that right now. Right. And it was so early in the plan. So I'm like, how do combine these two plans. Yep. And this was years ago, like this is really what kind of got me so excited about coaching is I'm like, well, there's gotta be some way to be in between these two plans. Yeah. Like, cuz I'm not, I'm not this box, but I'm not that box, but there's only, there's only so many boxes I feel like if I could cut some of this box and mush it with this one, that's really where that's where I want to be. Mm-hmm. So, um, this kinda reminds me of trying to get Angie to run also.
ANGIE: Good luck.
KEVIN: Angie's not a fan of running when she,
ANGIE: I hated running.
KEVIN: She started running.
ANGIE: I hated it. Okay. Hated it.
KEVIN: We'll go all the way there.
ANGIE: Well, I, because it's truth, I did like, and hopefully you'll, some of you can relate to me, you know, because I did not like running was always punishment for me until I met Kevin and he told me. Or he showed me that running could be something different.
KEVIN: Yeah. I tried to tell her she didn't agree with me that did not necessarily work, but when
ANGIE: it might be a little stubborn,
KEVIN: when you started running, you found that there were aspects of running that you in fact enjoyed better than others. Yes. Like you telling Angie when she was first into it, like, Hey, what you should do today is go out for a 45 minute easy jog. Like, that's not gonna go well, you enjoyed constant change of pace like you enjoyed
ANGIE: I enjoyed going faster,
KEVIN: you enjoyed running fast.
ANGIE: Because I also felt like I was slow. Right. So going back to our topic here of very good point to prove it, like, in my mind I identified myself well, first of all, I definitely did not identify as a runner. Um, but I definitely thought I was slow. When I thought of running, like I'm slower and so when I could run faster, that made me feel better about myself. And like, I really enjoyed that.
KEVIN: Yeah. Like I might not be able to hold it for that long.
Yeah. But at least when I'm running, I'm running faster.
ANGIE: I always, I always said I was a much better sprinter. Yes. I like running, but short distances,
KEVIN: but short distance. That's that's what I get on. So many of the high school kids, what they wanna come out and do track for track. Yeah. Coach can I do sprinting? And I'm looking at you. I'm like, I. You're gonna lose a lot of races, but okay. We could give it a shot. Right. Um, but even now you've been running for a long time. You still enjoy going faster. Mm-hmm, a lot more than I enjoy going faster. Like you enjoy workouts at like 3K K 5k pace in a different way than I enjoy those workouts.
ANGIE: Yeah. And I realized lately that I've been ignoring some of those things, which is also be explaining some of the stagnation that I've felt yeah. With my training recently, because I haven't been incorporated some of that higher end speed into my plan and I just did this week and it felt awful and good at the same time.
KEVIN: yes. So hopefully we all know that feeling, listening to this one. Yeah. It felt awful and amazing
ANGIE: all at the same time.
KEVIN: Um, but so trying to get you, here's the. Like in general, Angie enjoys running pretty quick and strength training, but you also enjoy racing a half marathon. Mm-hmm probably more than you. I would say you enjoy racing a 5k. Would you agree?
ANGIE: Oh, that's a really good question. I would say
KEVIN: half marathon versus 5k,
ANGIE: I would say probably. Yeah.
KEVIN: Yeah, this is so, but the problem is, is that you can't necessarily train to optimize your half marathon.
ANGIE: 5k hurt so bad.
KEVIN: They really do. It's hard to train, to optimize a half marathon time, right by doing just the higher intensity speed work and strength training. Right. But you can't get rid of all the high intensity speed work and string training because then Angie doesn't like the plan at all. Mm-hmm so a perfect plan for you incorporates enough of that, that you're enjoying many of the days mm-hmm and then you slide in, it's like throwing vegetables into taco meat. You just use slide,
ANGIE: which we do every Tuesday.
KEVIN: Yes. Yes we do. Uh, you, you slide them in and you're like, all right, you're gonna need to do this. And. And you understand,
ANGIE: and I've become much more open to it now also. True. Yeah. And because I, I understand the point of it. I understand why it's so important. And that's one of the reasons that we love educating runners and, and really, you know, doing this podcast because when you understand the why behind it, when you understand the reasoning behind it, it's a lot easier in my opinion, to actually do the things that you don't really wanna do well.
KEVIN: Yeah. And then you don't just have a, a beginner intermediate and, and. advance box, you can figure out like, what's the point of these workouts? How do I take the ones off of this one? That makes sense. How can I take the workouts that I just have fun with? Yeah. And continue doing them and, and still advance towards the goal that I actually want.
ANGIE: Yeah. So to kind of wrap it up, you don't have to prove that you're a runner. Okay? If you run, you are a runner. So, if you find yourself like feeling that need to sign up for a race or pushing harder to keep up with a training group or trying to avoid walking breaks because of what you think that makes that means about you and your ability, or needing a running streak to get you out the door or following someone else's training plan. Those are five of the really big mistakes that we see a lot of people making just start to question it, right? Like if you, if any of this episode kind of spoke to you and you're like, oh, that, that hits a little too hard, that little, little too close to home right there. You know, just know that nothing you do proves that you're a runner other than going out the door and running. Right. And quite honestly, even if you're not running, like you can still call yourself a runner. You can just choose to be a runner. Like there's a lot of people that say like, oh, well I'm injured so I'm not running right now so I'm not a runner, you're still a runner. Right? Like you can still identify as a runner. Maybe you're just taking a break right now. Maybe you're just in a down cycle. Like these professional elite runners that race marathons for a living usually like take three to four weeks off after like a goal race, like after the Olympics or after like a, a major marathon. Are they not a runner? You know, during that time, like, oh no, no, they are and you know, X, Y, Z, But if you take off that same amount of time, you also don't get to take away your runner status. Yes. Very good. If you're not gonna take it away from Des Lindon, don't take it away from.
KEVIN: Good point good call, right? Yeah. Um, but I that's exactly true. Like, there's a reason why most elite marathoners sign up for like two or three, because after they finish one, they take a substantial down period.
ANGIE: Mm-hmm or they don't run at all.
KEVIN: Yeah. I mean, it varies from person to person, but there are definitely super elite they're they're getting the big, giant, fancy check at the, at the finish line mm-hmm and then, and then they take the next. I don't know, several weeks off ultra marathon or the guy that just won Western states at the finish line interview they're like, what are you, what are you doing next? He goes, I'm not running for the next month.
ANGIE: Yeah. Eating a pizza.
KEVIN: Like he literally, he took a month off.
ANGIE: Yeah. That's what a lot of people do. Yeah. Right. So anyway, you guys don't have to prove you're a runner, but hopefully this episode was helpful and maybe helped you identify maybe some of the unconscious ways that you are maybe trying to prove to yourself or to other people, um, that you were, and instead of trying to prove it, you can just start to learn to accept it. And, uh, just tell yourself that you are indeed a runner because you are. So, as always guys. Well, before I get into the outro of, of the
ANGIE: There we go. Thank you. Sign up for the five day running challenge. And as always, we appreciate you spending this time with us. If you haven't yet, please leave us a rating and a review on iTunes or Spotify. Share this episode with a friend or, you know, on social media, help us grow the podcast so that we can help and reach more runners. We. So appreciate that. This has been the Real Life Runners podcast, episode # 267.
Now get out there and run your life.