Off-Topic Thursday: Lessons from Running
I’ve just come back from a 5K training run, in preparation for the Neverland Family Fun Run in just over a week. When I started running, about 4 months or so ago, I could barely run a block at a time, if that, and no more than two or three of those in a single outing. At best, my pace was 20-22 minutes per mile.
Today, I ran 3.2 miles, and my pace was 12:11 per mile. My goal was 14 or 15 minutes per mile.
I’ve come a very long way in a few months, and in doing so, I’ve learned a couple of things.
1. There is a big difference between training and trying. Before starting for the actual training for the 5K, I tried to run. I figured it would probably be good for me, and thought, “How hard could it be?” Boy was I wrong. If someone had come up to me in August of 2012 and said, “You have to run a 5K this weekend, and you have to do it in under 45 minutes” I couldn’t have done it. I would have tried really hard, but that wouldn’t have been enough.
Trying isn’t enough. If you have something major to accomplish, or something difficult, trying isn’t enough. You will very likely need to train. Training involves pushing yourself beyond what you’re currently capable of comfortably. I was clearly able to run farther than I thought, and training gave me a reason to. It pushed me to go beyond what I thought I could do, but never so far that I hurt myself. Now I can do something that I was physically incapable of just a few months ago.
2. I needed a coach. My brother-in-law, Stuart, ran in track and cross-country in high school and has kept up with running since then. He agreed to not only run with me (to give some accountability and someone to run with at least once every couple of weeks), but he agreed to coach me, too.
I was running with my body far to closed off and wasting a lot of energy. I didn’t know that, and I couldn’t see myself. I needed someone besides myself who could see me, what I was doing wrong, and what I was doing well. He could encourage me and challenge me. He could help me reinforce my strengths and adjust for or eliminate my weaknesses. I’ve come a long way with his help.
If you’ve got something big you want to accomplish, a major challenge to overcome, or a significant change you need to make, you need a coach. Someone like Stuart has been for me.
I’m sure I’ll learn more lessons as I continue, especially since I’m actually considering the Disneyland Half Marathon in September…maybe even something more challenging than that, but these are the standout lessons so far.
Question: What do you have that currently seems impossible to accomplish or change in your life? Do you have a training program to do it, and do you have a coach to help you? Talk about it in the comments below or on the Facebook page.