As my Annapolis 10-Miler training commences, I start to prepare for my last two big races of the year: The A-10 and the Nation’s Triathlon. Both of these races will require a lot of training sessions, the majority of them being running intensive. There will be good days and bad days…hot days and hotter days…but the more I remember to enjoy the ride, the better my running and my mind will be.
The most important thing to remember when training for a big race is just to get out there and listen to your body. Maybe its a shorter run because your body is not feeling that 5 miler. Maybe you’re feeling awesome and you add an extra mile to your planned 6 miler. Whatever the day brings, listen to your body and accept what it is telling you. As long as you get yourself out on the road that day, you have done well. Sure, there will be difficult runs and easy runs….but accept that difficult runs are supposed to be difficult and that they have served their purpose in bringing you closer to your goal. Don’t skip, but rather enjoy the easy runs and be grateful for your body’s ability to be out on the road and running. Those easy runs are serving just as important of a purpose as the hard runs.
Running helps in your understanding of your body and mind. A better understanding of these can help you decide when its best to push through a tough workout and when its time to slow down. The more you listen to your body, the more you realize when it wants exercise, and when it needs a break. Learning to listen is half the battle, and forces you to become more in tune with your body’s needs as opposed to your mind’s wants.
Most importantly, all these running lessons apply to life in general as well. I think running and exercise makes me a better person in general. I believe that exercise and is an essential part of a person’s well being.
Here’s a great article on a similar topic that I would love to share with you. 10 Life Lessons from a Reluctant Runner puts it in perspective. This is about running, but I would argue that it could be applied to any form of exercise. You don’t have to run everyday. You don’t even have to run for long. You don’t even have to consider yourself a “runner”. You just have to get out there, keep trying, do your best, and don’t let excuses get in your way. You might even find that you like it. 🙂