Often times in marathons there are signs that are put along the course by supporters, usually for inspiration. One sign that I often remember was a two part series… the first sign said something like this “running is a mental game,” followed by a second sign stating “and we think you’re all crazy.”
As we are coming into the thick of race season and as our long runs are increasing, I wanted to address a topic that is applicable to all. I am reminded of a marathon I ran a few years back when I was trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. This was before Boston had lowered their qualifying times and the time for my age group was 3:10:00. At first this was more of just a dream or an idea, but as my training continued the dream became more of a goal and more of a reality.
My training runs during the week and my long runs on the weekends all started to lineup and land within the pace range I needed to keep in order to qualify. Still, however, I did not really think I was going to be able to make it. The race day came. I rode the bus to the starting line. As I got off the bus rain started to trickle. By the time the race started we were covered with water. I did have a garbage bag that covered my top, but I started the race with my shoes a little squishy. This was not going to stop me.
At the beginning of the race it was going well and at the midpoint I had met my goal of an hour and a half. As the race continued on, I started to get tired and my mind began to wander as is common during the later stages of a marathon. Read More….
My passion for running has been over 10 years in the making, and I owe a great deal of my running passion to my Dad. He may not know this or take credit for this, but he is a big reason I ran my first marathon. I was once at a family gathering at my aunt’s house and happened to be looking at their family pictures. One of the pictures was a photo of my uncle running a marathon. I talked a little bit to my uncle about his running, and it started to spark my interest. I later was speaking to my dad and jokingly mentioned that we should run a marathon, like my uncle. You have to understand at the time I did not do much running for fun, if I did run it usually involved a ball. I never had run a 5k, let alone a marathon.
Last Saturday morning I laced up my shoes again for another 5K. It was the Draper Days 5K and as I toed the line, and saw the many talented runners around me, I was struck with the realization that I was going to have to work hard to place well in this one. This would be no “walk in the park”. The race turned out to be one of those rare occasions where I felt like I was mentally tough and pushed through the pain to get to a new level.
Here are a few mental toughness strategies which may help you get to that next level in a workout or a race:
Running really is a sport where being mentally tough makes a HUGE difference in your performance.
What do you do to be mentally tough in your workouts and/or races?
by Janae Richardson – Runner | USATF Certified Coach
This time of year many runners are loading up their swimming trunks, sunscreen, sandals and heading out on vacation. Excitement about being on vacation has probably kept you up a few nights. Well, the day is here…did you pack your running shoes?
It’s racing season folks. You’ve been training for a race I’m sure and now you are staring at a week that will surely cut into your fitness if you don’t run.
I know what you’re thinking: “But Brad, even you know how darned hard it is to get out running while on vacation!” With an attitude like that, you bet your farmer’s tan it’s hard to get out. But then you’ll be missing out on the most memorable runs.
I absolutely love running while on vacation. You don’t remember tons of your day to day runs, but bet your bottom GU pack you remember the runs you take on vacation. It’s new, and a great time to get a new best on a course.
Just like at home, running is just part of my day. You’ll never have time unless you make time.
A good tip is to get it out of the way early. The longer you wait the harder it is to get a run in. Getting up 30 minutes early will work wonders kids.
“But Brad!” You cry. “Where will I run? I mean, I’m from out of town.” Well, for this one you’re on your own. But be creative. I ran 3 two mile loops around Arizona Mills Mall in Phoenix when it was 112 degrees. (Hotel’s treadmill was out of order) I ran at a cemetery in Center Valley, PA. A park in St. Louis. A country road in Virginia. Next to the beach in the Riviera Maya. All over the Abajo Mountains in southern Utah. Amber and I even ran a 10 miler on the Kern River Pathway in Bakersfield. The world is your oyster…even in Bakersfield. This country of ours has so many beautiful places to run if you just take the time.
Or, check out: http://www.usatf.org/routes/. There should be many runs in any city you could ever hope to be in.
If you can’t get out on the roads, by all means, use the hotel treadmill you uncreative sucker.
Now I realize you are on vacation. It’s about being with your family and friends. Be flexible. You may miss a run or two. You’ll live. But if you just take a little time planning, your running shouldn’t skip a beat. And hopefully you, like I have, will find out how much fun it is to run on vacation.
by Brad Anderson – Inspirational Runner | Has raced from the front & the back of the pack | Voted “Most Comical Sense of Humor” by UtahRunning.com
Today while I was running pushing my two kids on the Ogden River Parkway I came across this mural. It is one of the many cool paintings on the back wall of the rodeo grounds that skirts the edge of the paved pathway. For some reason though, this particular one caught my attention.
“Be the Change YOU want 2 C in de World”.
I’ve heard this saying before, but I actually thought about it deeper today. Maybe I needed something on my mind to pass the time while I was running. (Time passes slowly when you are running by yourself and pushing a double jogging stroller for five miles–my 7 month old and 3 year old aren’t exactly long conversationalists.)
So I thought to myself, “What is the change I would want to see in the world?” Lots of things crossed my mind, but since I was out running on a beautiful day, I concluded that I would like to see more people being physically active. I have grown to realize how important this is. In fact, I’ve become passionate about it. I really would like to see more people setting aside time each day to workout.
Why? Because I know what it does for my body, mind, and attitude. Through coaching, I’ve also seen the positive effects on others. I’ve seen it build confidence, discipline, and teach life skills. The effects are numerous and so positive in more than just the physical aspect of it all. As my thoughts turned inward again, I thought, “Am I being that change I want to see in the world? Am I setting aside excuses and getting out the door everyday?” ”Am I being a good example to my family and friends?”
Lately, I can feel myself settling. Being content with 3-4 days a week of running. Life is busy with two little ones, a husband training for the Olympic Trials, managing a website, coaching, and fulfilling church callings. But, I am a better person in all other areas of my life when I make my health and fitness a priority. Of course life has to have balance, but it is like the oxygen mask idea on airplanes. Put yours on first and then help others with theirs. Make your health a priority and then you will be better able to help others around you.
So, I’m recommitting to be a more consistent, dedicated runner for myself, my family, my friends, and YOU! So join me… recommit to being physically active and “Be the Change We Want to See in the World!”
by Janae Richardson – Runner | USATF Certified Coach