Any Run is a Good Run!

By Susan S. Paul, MS
Track Shack Program Director  

When I hear a runner complaining about their run, my response is, "Any run is a good run." Period. 

If you are a runner, or know a runner, you probably know what I'm talking about. Perhaps you have complained about a run yourself or heard your runner friends complain. Runner complaints are usually they did not run long enough, fast enough, or both.  But the bottom line is, any run is a good run!

Yes, we can and should strive to do better and be better. I'm all for improvement, pushing your limits, and wanting to become the best runner you can be; but, we need to stop the negative talk that too often accompanies our training. We need to learn to accept where we are at any given point in time in our training and stop berating ourselves for our perceived shortcomings. Complaining about our runs quickly becomes a bad habit and turns into self-defeating negative talk. Whether intentional or not, negative talk brings you, and everyone around you, down and what's more, can actually hurt your performance.

As Henry Ford once said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't....you're right!"  Re-framing a negative perspective into a positive outlook can serve you well. While it's hard to say exactly how much of our performance is affected by our mental state, researchers agree that it is more than we realize.  For example, one study found that performance was increased by as much as 15% when runners were told they had been given a performance enhancing drug but, were actually given a placebo. That's the power of positive thinking!

All runners know the hardest part of any run is getting out the door. Whether you are a morning, afternoon, or evening runner, the battle is breaking away from other responsibilities. So, rather than beating yourself up that your run wasn't "good enough", pat yourself on the back because you made it out the door for your run today! Thinking positive thoughts about that run is more likely to help get you out the door tomorrow than will negative talk. With a positive outlook, you are also more likely to run faster or longer tomorrow.

Vacations, kids home from school, and, of course, Florida's summer weather can make it even harder to get out the door for a run.  If you are struggling with your routine or have difficulty keeping a positive attitude, registering for a race or signing up for a group training program might help you. Track Shack's Running Series is just around the corner so consider signing up to help keep your training on track. And, if you'd like some coaching and camaraderie, consider joining our Zero to Fit Beginner program or our 5k/10k program for improving your speed. These programs begin in August, registration is now open!


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