Running is easy right? One foot in front of another. Get fitter. Build up the distance. While out running, you see a poster of women smiling and laughing, advertising a running event, and decide to enter a 5K. Run the 5K. Awesome. Time for the first tough truth – you’re now a runner!
We all like to feel unique. Running’s harder for us. Others are naturally better. We’re just a beginner. A couple of these common beliefs may even be true. There’s no separate finish line for ‘proper’ or ‘natural’ runners. These are really only terms used by new runners to try and separate themselves. Have you ever heard anyone describe themselves as a ‘proper’ or ‘natural’ runner? No, because when you run, you’re a runner. So no need for labels – just get out there, get running and do your best. You’ll be inspiring non-runners to start running, just be warned – they’ll be calling you a ‘proper’ runner!
Tough truth number two
You need to really know your motivation. Some new runners give up quickly. It can be hard to keep running if you don’t know why you run. Your ‘why’ can be anything at all. It just has to be honest, which can be the tricky part! Maybe you like social running with friends, or achieving a time or distance goal,want to beat a family member’s time, or maybe you just want to eat more cake! Your friend’s motivation won’t get you out of the door. Only yours will. So be super honest with yourself, and use that to keep you going during tough times.
So what about those other runners? The ones in the posters smiling during or after running events, who make it look easy? They probably started just like you. They may well have spent time building up their core and leg muscles, and pushing themselves through hard workouts to improve. On the day good results can look easy, because most of the effort was already done in training.
Tough truth number three
Hard work can bring results. It is also true that this hard work can bring more satisfaction. Crossing the finish line of a race wondering if you could have done more, can leave you with a nagging, dissatisfied feeling. Running is fantastic in that you can race against yourself. I’m most pleased when I beat my own times, not other people. Knowing you gave it all your all in your training and racing, is an amazing feeling that will last, and keep you trying to improve to be the best you can.
Sarah has been running for 15 years and holds the world record for fastest marathon in a wedding dress. She makes personalised paintings for runners to celebrate their successes and memories, as well as running cards, stationery and training tips at artofyoursuccess.com. She can be found tweeting @ArtOfYrSuccess