One aspect of self awareness is the ability to be open minded. That is, to know when our perspective of a situation is based on our opinion or point of view, and to understand that there may be other ways to thinking about things. I was recently offering some advice to a friend who is pondering running the Finlayson Arm 50k. My perspective came from my opinions about training, preparation, and execution of such an event and was focussed on what practices and habits will be required for success. Another friend of his simply said “Drink a bunch of beers the night before and SEND IT!”
There have been times in my coaching life that I feel like the ‘Lucy’ from the Peanuts cartoon, dispensing advice for 5 cents. Obviously, my advice to runners always come from the perspective of what I have learned over many years. What follows then, are the most common themes of running advice I have dispensed over the years, distilled into five tips.
1. Develop positive habits
Have the courage to know when your habits are creating the same mistakes over and over and cultivate the courage to change these. Good habits work for you, and easily become the norm for your workouts.
Take care of basic details: prep logistics and being organized with gear and time.
Find and embrace opportunities to succeed. You get better at this the more you practice it.
Weather the ups and downs of training and racing. Be no nonsense about that one. Life goes up and down. It just does.
Do not entertain a change of heart when having a tough day or after a tough race. Allow time to emotionally recover from disappointment. Reflect and move on.
2. Reflect honestly
Review your races. Improve what you can and give yourself credit for what you did well.
Refine what didn’t go so well. Be honest with yourself, without judgement.
3. Take care of yourself and surround yourself with a healthy community of friends
Eat well, sleep well, and take care of your body and health. It is quite simple.
Surround yourself with likeminded positive people who lift you up. Put yourself in environments that support your dreams and passions. (Such as the Island Series and other events). In other words, spend your time well.
4. Listen to others
You never know what you may learn but be discerning as well. From what you learn, custom build the program and lifestyle that works for you.
Find a greater purpose
Give back when you can. Share the joy of your process and your achievement and celebrate others’ successes. Find opportunities to give back and accept opportunities to give back when they come. Thank the volunteers.
Run For Joy!