Think back to your last run
How did it go?
What did it accomplish?
Did you log it?
Why did you run?
Think hard on that last question, most of us runners would have a hard time coming up with an answer – maybe you were just following your schedule or maybe you just thought, “a run sounds nice, lets do that.”
Perhaps you didn’t even think about it before hand, you just ran out the door ready to get that run out of the way!
I run into this mentality with my runners every year, there always comes a point in the season where they reach an impasse and start going through the motions. They might hammer an easy run or stop doing some of the little things we do post runs (I’ll cover these in another blog post soon) and if left unchecked they could start to unravel. I just make sure to remind them of what we are trying to accomplish, our easy runs are helping us recover and when we push too hard we aren’t accomplishing that goal.
That’s not to say that every easy run has that purpose but you – or your coach – need to have a firm understanding of your program.
Even if you don’t know what that particular run is doing for you on the molecular level – it still helps to know the reasoning behind it. Maybe you don’t need to know that the reason why we incorporate long runs into 5k training is because they help your body build bone density and help oxygen delivery to your muscles (those are just a few of the benefits) but you should still know that long runs will help build your endurance and help make 5ks seem easier.
In my experience just knowing why you are doing something can do miracles for motivation, not only on that run but throughout your program.
What if I’m not training for anything specific?
This is a good question because if you aren’t trying to train a specific system why should you care? – the more relevant question becomes:
What do you want out of this run?
Do you want to lose weight? Maybe you just want to feel better or maybe you use running as a stress relief and having that daily run keeps you from going insane.
Then THAT is why you run, and you need to write those words down and remind yourself before every run. Put that statement somewhere where you will see it everyday! When you start to feel the urge to stay inside ask yourself, “why am I running?” – This is how we succeed, this is how we make a lifestyle change!
And who knows, maybe down the line you will decide to train for a 5k. It’s an easy transition and just knowing how to set yourself up for success will put you miles ahead of your fellow beginners… literally and figuratively.
So… Why do you run?!
Let me know @anthrophysique – or leave a comment below!
Go Get After It!