Sunday, December 28, 2008

Believe In Your Running, Believe In Yourself

I've coached a couple of marathoners in the past and just recently read an article of a high school runner who is experiencing the same thing. It can be referred to in many different ways. It is done for many different reasons. One of the most powerful reasons is lack of confidence.

I'm talking about those runners who can't just be satisfied with their running. They need to put in extra time to either bike, swim, do aerobics, or any other cardiovascular exercise. As a coach I'm not big on cross training, but people do it, and it's okay, to a point. It's those people who complete their daily run, lets say 6 miles, then do an hour of aerobics, and then hit the weight room for an hour. They may feel that what they are doing as a runner isn't good enough. They think this even if they are training at a high level.

Other issues such as eating disorders, depression, and anxiety tend to come along with such thinking. The body breaks down and injuries occur. This way of approaching your running is mentally and physically draining.

If you feel that you have fallen into such a pattern, take a step back and look at yourself and what you are doing. Ask yourself if this is about trying too hard to be a better runner, or if it's about something more personal outside of running. If it's beyond your running, talk to someone close to you or seek out professional help. If it's just about your running, take a look at how you are training and either trust in it, or make changes.

One of the hardest things for a runner is having trust in their training. If you have a good coach with a proven history, it's a little easier to sit back and trust in the process. If you do not have a proven coach or are self-coached, it's a bit harder to trust in what you are doing. If so, talk to people around you. Talk to other runners on teams with good coaching. Talk to adults who run in the community. Read books on training. Search online for training literature and advice.

Whatever you do, first and foremost, take care of yourself as a runner and as a person. Believe in your running and believe in yourself.

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