Today is a day to celebrate LOVE. At rabbit, we love running. We love talking about running, we love learning about running, we love sharing running stories... we LOVE running. And, we know that we are not alone. But, it isn't always easy. Today, RADrabbitPRO Lisa Baumert shares some advice on how to fall, and stay, in love with running. Happy Valentine's Day all!
I believe that its best, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love in all its forms: Valentine’s dinner with the husband, Valentine’s movie night with my girls and their dogs (this year we’re watching Beaches), and my personal celebration – of Valentine’s Day’s candy (its celebration through consumption - a candy thanksgiving, if you will). Valentine’s Day can also be a good time to reflect on your love of running.
Like all loves, running is complex. It takes various forms at different times; its intensity can wax and wane. Running is a love that is not always easy to come by – or maintain. But like all true loves, it is always worth it. Below are some tips for cultivating and sustaining a love of running, drawn from my 18-year relationship with the sport. Ultimately, I think that running is best viewed as a long-term relationship – one that will ebb and flow, but can grow richer and more complex with time.
A strong, solid relationship with running takes time. It can’t be rushed or forced. My flirtation with running started with one mile per day. It was seven years into my relationship with running before I ran further than 8 miles at a time. When you begin running, go slow and short. Ease into the relationship; don’t rush it. Running too fast or too far right off the bat, only leads to burn-out and injury.
Falling in love with running only works if you give it a chance. It will only win your heart if you allow it the time to do so. Run often and be patient. You’ll never love running if you’re always out of shape - in the awkward and uncomfortable stage of your relationship. Find a consistent training plan that allows you to run sustainably. Trust that running will get easier, and that results will appear with time.
Acknowledge your accomplishments
When your relationship with running is going well – when you have a great run, or set a PR, or you ran every day in week – don’t forget to recognize your achievements. A good relationship is built on small and consistent of kernels respect; even the smallest running victory is worthy of your gratitude.
Don’t dwell on your disappointments
When running disappoints you – and it will – don’t let that shame or anger or sadness define your entire relationship with running. Bad days, horrible training cycles and “off years” happen. Remember: You’re in this for long-haul. Brooding over what should or could have been is wasted energy. Keep moving forward.
Run with others
No relationship happens in a vacuum. Connect with other people who have their own relationships with running, and learn from them. Running buddies help get you out the door for those early morning runs; they keep you honest in your training. They can celebrate with you when you reach your goals, and help get you back on your feet when you fail. Running friends give you perspective. They create a context in which your relationship with running can evolve.
Your relationship with running will change.
In life and relationships, change is constant. Your relationship with running will look differently, and mean different things, and occupy a different place in your life over and over and over again. Healthy relationships accept, embrace and adapt to change, even as they remain consistent in love and respect. Holding too tightly to what you want or think running should be, will only drain your enjoyment of it. Let running evolve and grow, and as it does it will become more complex and beautiful.
I’d love to hear your running love stories. How did you fall in love with running? How do keep that “spark” alive in your relationship with running?
- Lisa Baumert, RADrabbitPRO