You’re Doing It All Wrong

Okay, last time I left with not the most positive of statements. I said if you’ve tried to get into running before, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Let me guess how you’ve tried to get into the habit of running. I’m guessing I’m probably right because this is how I tried to get in the habit. Many, many times.

You wake up Monday, determined to run. You know you want to start slow and easy, so you’re only going to do 2-3 miles. That’s not too far, right?

After the first block, you realize that 2-3 miles is way too far. But you’re not a quitter. You’re going to do this. And so you do.

After 2 miles (you said 2-3, so 2 is totally fine), you collapse on your front porch. Your legs feel like jelly. Your lungs are on fire. You’re crying, but you tell yourself those are tears of glory, not tears of pain and suffering. You’ve done it. You’re a runner!

Of course, you have to do it all over again tomorrow. But don’t think about that right now. Today, you’re a runner!

And then you wake up the next morning. You can hardly move your legs. You walk like a 90-year-old. You can’t imagine running on legs this sore, but you’re going to do it. Because you’re a runner.

You run a second time. And a third. But you don’t see improvement. In fact, maybe you even get slower because your legs are sore. By the end of the week, you realize this is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. And you want to throw a brick at all those runners you see on the side of the road, with their bright smiles, and shining faces. YOU HATE THOSE RUNNERS!

Okay, guess what? You’ve completed a week of running, and you’ve just spent a week training harder than most elite runners.

That’s right, you heard me. You’ve spent a week training harder than people who regularly run 20-30 miles in a single effort.

“But that’s not true,” I hear you say. “Elite athletes run a hundred miles a week. I only went twelve. You’re a dirty liar.”

Ah, but I’m not a liar. Think of it like this. Arnold Schwarzenegger bench presses 100 pounds ten times. You bench press 100 pounds ten times. Think of what happens to his muscles and his heart. Think of what happens to your muscles and heart. Who worked out harder?

In a very real sense, you’ve been training harder, both physically and mentally, than the top runners in the sport. How can I make so bold a statement? Because, it’s all about the zones. And that’s what we’ll talk about next time. Once you master the zones, you’ll be on the road to loving running.

Up Next: It’s All About The Zones

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4 Responses to You’re Doing It All Wrong

  1. Pingback: A Few Posts On Running | The Open Author

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