Running: How to not give up in ten points

The Finish Line. Expressions of athletes as they complete the ING Hartford Marathon and Half Maratho

It is especially common among beginners to hear tales of gradually losing motivation and giving up on running. This is truly a pity because in doing this we are denying ourselves the chance to enjoy the long term benefits from running when practiced consistently in the proper way. There are so many reasons why it is worthwhile not to quit but to continue along this path, with running shoes on your feet. Here are our ten!

1) If you take it one step at a time you’ll go further

Just like with everything else in life, the key is not to over do it but to practice in moderation and give yourself enough time to adapt and adjust. It is also like this for running, in order not to burn out you need to have patience and know your limits. The idea that we always keep in mind while running so that we don’t tire out too soon or worse, to avoid running into the so-called “beginners accident,” is that of moderation. We set ourselves more and more ambitious goals with the presumption that we can reach them, if only we respect the concept of gradualism.

2) Find your own path

Exactly like with everything else in life, there is not a right way to relate to running, but there are many different ways to approach and perceive it. Running is the few minutes you spend in the park under your house and also the when you methodically aim at achieving a worthy performance. One is not less important than the other. All runners must find their own rhythm which is well suited to their individual needs.

3) Running can be a way to learn more about yourself

Running can become an opportunity to search for your own personal truth. A sort of wonderful instrument to learn how to converse with oneself, to know our own limits, and also to work on and learn to respect them. Sometimes you will want to give up and surrender to the sofa, other times you will think about quitting, and then there are times when you will instead feel very lucky to be running and you will ask yourself what your life would have been life if when you were a kid you hadn’t decided to become a professional runner. In each of these situations you will find yourself amazed at your own capacity to react to any new circumstance that will arise. You’ll wonder how your body can do things that your mind would have never imagined or how, conversely, your stubbornness will convince you feet and legs to go beyond your best expectations. In conclusion, you will learn to be amazed by your potential and know how to always ask a little bit more more from yourself.

4) Step-by-step you acquire awareness

Certainly running is plotting your trajectory from point A to point B. Along the way we rack up the miles on the road. The path can be one of those trails in the park under the house or it can be the one that we follow in the woods on the weekend. We can always turn around and look at what we have done once we have finished and that makes us feel good; it assures us that we have completed the journey. From the day we decided to become a runner to all of the times we ran with shoes on our feet, we can definitely say that we went through a journey of self awareness. Running is a natural act in which we completely forget our tensions and worries to lose ourselves in feelings of freedom and pleasure. This ease in leaving behind worries teaches us how to be naturally connected with who we really are, with the more spontaneous part of ourselves.

5) You will like yourself more

It is obvious that sports help us to get into better shape. In this sense running is one of the top aerobic activities in burning up energy and makes use of that stored fat which we don’t like to see in the mirror. Besides this objective fact, however, consistently exercising has been shown to increase an individual’s self-esteem. You will soon be more at ease with yourself, less critical and eventually revel in those things about yourself which today you cannot stand.

6) Running with others

The fact that at the end of the day you have to meet someone else to run is one of the best motivations to keep running regularly. Running is becoming an increasingly popular sport so, you should not be surprised that if you were to take a survey in your office you would find colleagues and friends who share your same past time. If you unfortunately do not find anyone around your who is brave enough to run then you should be a pioneer to pave the way for others. It would be sufficient to ask a running store for some tips when you purchase your first pair of running shoes. They can certainly tell you where to find other runners or recommend an athletic center nearby. Pay attention to carefully select your running mates so that you find ones who are at your level or a little bit better than you.

7) Be consistent with your training

Even if your not a personal trainer it is obvious that if you train inconsistently it will not help your body acquire all the physiological adaptations which are necessary to not only better your performance but also to lessen the pain of your first races. For example, if you are a beginner who has not run in the past, you will need to run every other day. It has been scientifically proven that after 48 hours, the damage done to your body by training has diminished and after 72 hours your body has completely recovered.

8) Running is not a war

When you read articles about running, you find a lot of expressions like, “Win the battle against yourself…. Declare war on you weaknesses….. Challenge yourself…. Defeat your fears.” All these expressions can be true if you want to compete at a professional level but they also portray running as a greater struggle than it actually is. First and foremost running should be about achieving harmony within yourself as we mentioned before. Running is a great anti-stress activity if practiced when you have a balance between your mind and body. The body is challenged by the physical stress and the mind by the competition. If running becomes more of a duty than a pleasure and we take ourselves too seriously we lose sight of it’s true purpose.

9) Kaleidoscope of places and paths

Also in running after the initial beginning stage boredom can set in. To prevent this from happening it is important to vary your running paths, scenery, distances and types of training to elude monotony. It is important to treat running, especially at the beginning, like a girlfriend who you bring on different types of dates. This is to ensure that you will not get tired and it will avoid the possibility of you falling in the trap of continuously competing with yourself on your future runs.

10) Not only running

One of the best ways to fully up enjoy your training and get all of the benefits from it is to be consistent. This is only possible with a strong mindset and also by paying attention to your body so that you don’t get injured. The most common injuries for runners are ones caused by overtraining, that is- continuous effort that places stress on joints and muscles. In order not to find yourself in this situation, there are some simple and precise strategies. It will be sufficient to devote 10 minutes of your training to lengthen the muscles like stretching or core stability and to cross train at least once ever 10 days with another activity like biking or swimming.

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