1. Slim Down - How else can you zap 300 calories in 30 minutes, go for a run. The more you run the more you can loose and increase your metablolism.
2. Calm Down - Running hard erases the blackboard of my mind. I can go out in a terrible mood, angry at everything, and come back content and motivated.
3. Find Energy - No matter how tired you are, if you go out for your run, you'll feel better afterward.
4. Run A Race - A traning plan keeps many runners heading out day after day. It also gives you a goal to work towards.
5. Be Alone - For people bombarded by obiligations, running can provide time alone. Running alone can give you time to think about the days events or even forget them. It can be used as a way of meditation.
6. Run Fast - Set goals for yourself and keep track of your time. Challenge yourself and try to go faster from time to time.
Lately been I've been reflecting a lot on the years i've been running. Running now consistently for around eight or nine years! I can't believe it and I've ran seven and a half marathons during this time. Which running marathons was the main inspiration for me when I started running and it continues to be to this day. Why do I strive to run marathons every year? Well that is another discussion all together. Though as I reflect back on my running career I think about all the sports and activities running has lead me towards.
Before running I never actually dedicated myself to a sport or any kind of training. Now that I do I often wonder why I never tried any sports when I was younger or at least stuck with them. I never even ran in High school but here I am throughout my 20's and now almost 30 running like crazy!
Running has lead me to find other sports to participate in such as Ultimate Frisbee, Rollerblading, Racquet Ball, Flag Football and soon possibly even softball. So for me running goes beyond the health benefits, It truly inspires to me in my everyday life in my career and sporting hobbies. It opens doors for me. It frees the mind and builds your confidence.
Marathon season this year will be different than previous years. Reason is that I play a couple of different sports now besides running. It helps to mix it up and great for cross training. For example besides running, I now play ultimate frisbee twice a week and soon we will starting up flag football once a week. I also like to inline skate when I can. I admit I need to fit in more weight training.
So with marathon season coming up I will have to really make a out a schedule to fit it all in while also building upon my running and keeping my dedication to it a priority. I'm glad i'm doing more activities these days. I hope to do more as well! With that being said though running will also be my number one activity. Here is somewhat of a routine I plan to take on this fall.
Today is August 1st which marks "pre-marathon" season for me. My July running production was down so I hope to pick it back up in starting in August. Though I stay active and in shape all year it is good to ease off your longer runs for awhile. It does a couple things for me, It makes me anxious and hungry to get back out there and improve. It also helps rest my body from any nagging injuries so that when you do begin training you are fresh and injury free.
So 20-25 miles a week is my off season average but now that August is here and marathon season around the corner I look forward to increasing that!
Since the last marathon it just seems like such a long off season I must say. The "in-between" races period that seems to drag on. Though it is important to keep yourself busy, productive and active.
I think that maybe a long off season makes for a great marathon season! I do keep up with my running and activities but nothing beats the training and goals of training for a marathon no matter how many times you run them. So I am looking forward to the fall and my weekly training runs. The more you miss running marathons the more you are drawn to them, well at least I am.
My off season activities include:
Ultimate Frisbee, Inline Skating and to save gas I'd like to bike to work. So find things to keep you active and productive, marathon season is always around the corner.
Tomorrow is another day, and there will be another battle!
I'm mostly a solo runner honestly. With that I feel that a lot of my runs are times of reflection. A time where I can shut everything out and just enjoy my own world. I let the energy just take over me and before you know miles have gone by. From my perspective the world slows down around me. My thoughts slow down even though my body is racing.
I use this time and energy sometimes to deal with inner challenges and it is a way for me to release some negative energy. I find though that this feeling of utopia merely ends after your run, it is the challenge of carrying on this energy into your every day life. It can be done, I always say, "dig deep".
Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder.
Their are two types of pain in running in my opinion, one is physical and the other is mental. Any running regiment or training program will teach you to gradually build up your miles and to listen to your body. I do believe in this philosophy because it does build patience and teaches discipline in running in which you will need to grow and it will take you a long way into your running career. Sometimes running hurts. It can hurt physically if you don't listen to your body, rest when you are injured and keep your shoes on a good rotation. But if you do all these things right you'll move right along and experience the mental pain of running. The part where you'll be tested mentally constantly. You have to be able to block out everything in your mind and focus on the run at hand. The moment and make the best of it. I always say to myself "this is my run, i'm going to run hard". Little things like that you tell yourself to build your confidence. You have to discover what is inside of you when you run. You are going to hit walls no matter how skilled you are. But I find that consistency is the best formula. Keep at it, make it a routine and your life. Everything else will follow. Follow the pain and make it work for you not against you. Because it is inside of you and that is what drives you.
"We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we
enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and
work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this
craving for freedom. No one can say, 'You must not run faster than
this, or hump higher than that.' The human spirit is
Running is freedom, which is a great way of looking at it. There are those days when you just feel drained from a long day of work and deadlines and you can't seem to muster up the confidence to get a run in. I suggest going anyway. Because you can create energy by burning energy. Running will give you energy and a sense of freedom. A freedom where you can escape your daily stresses, you'll find yourself cleansed and recharged after such a run. Even though just an hour before you felt like you couldn't do it.
Besides being an avid runner. For the past year and half I have discovered and indulged myself in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. At first I was very skeptical because usually when people think of frisbee usually they think of casually passing the frisbee back and forth in the sunshine on a beach somewhere.
Well "Ultimate" Frisbee is quite the opposite of this in fact. You do loads of running up and down a huge field chasing a flying disc and also chasing people who are chasing the flying disc to block it down. I would describe it almost like soccer but with a frisbee. A lot of stop and go running and a lot of sprinting.
For the most part i've always been a long distance runner not really working on my short runs and sprints as I should be. I have found though that Ultimate Frisbee has been a great fun way of working more on my sprinting and short run bursts.
So over time friends of all athletic types have come and out and joined the team. I have found that no matter your work out style or body type--this is a great alternative cardio sport for sure. You'll find yourself getting into shape and having fun at the same time. For me personally it is a good break during the week from my regular training runs.
So my advice--mix it up! Try different activities and sports besides the one that you are most passionate about. It can't hurt right! Get out and be active.
*The five S's of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit;
but the greatest of these is Spirit.
This is an important quote for me. It is true in my in my opinion that running involves more than the physical self but also encompasses the inner self as well.
You must ask yourself, why do you run? Is it to keep in shape? Is it to lose weight, beat stress or train for a race? Or it may be all of these things. No matter why you do it, just be consistent and soon you'll find that it is running that drive us to of our goals. Running is a tool to guide us.
I really like this quote, very short and simple but yet so powerful and true.
"Desire is the most important factor in the success of any athlete."
Desire is key in my opinion in any sport. Especially in running because like in any high endurance sport it takes a lot of desire and will to follow through. I feel that no matter the outcome of your race, your event or your training that you should always keep your desire for it strong. Never lose sight of that. You will always be a better athlete and person because of it. Desire builds will and dedication. The more you stay dedicated the stronger the desire inside you grows. They'll be times you'll hit that wall and you want to give up. It is so much easier to give up but if you dig deep enough that feeling goes away. The desire comes through and suddenly you have a burst of energy to break down that wall. It is then that you realize that your hard work and training are paying off. Each time you break down those walls, your desire, will and dedication grows stronger. Every athlete must break down barriers and walls to get better, as such in life. So when people ask why you run so much or say that you are crazy for it. Just remember inside you are working for something much deeper than a workout. To me this is what is desire and dedication are all about.
Some may ask why I am running such long distances. There are reasons. During the marathons and my runs I come to a point where my body is almost dead. My mind has to take leadership. When it is very hard there is a war going on between the body and the mind. If my body wins, I will have to give up; if my mind wins, I will continue. At that time I feel that I stay outside of my body. It is as if I see my body in front of me; my mind commands and my body follows. This is a very special feeling, which I like very much. . . It is a very beautiful feeling and the only time I experience my personality separate from my body, as two different things. To me what this what running is about and crosses into all areas of my life.