The fifteen things I have learned from running.

Fifteen years ago, at the age of 19, I dediced to start running. I ran my first marathon in 2007 and have had the running bug ever since. To say that it has saved my life would be an understatement. This is what I’ve learned:

  1. To accept that the first twenty minutes of each and every run is going to be a uphill struggle. Even now my muscles still scream at me to stop and my brain tells me that I’m not a runner and to go back to bed. But I know if I push through then I’ll find my rhythm and be able to keep on running.
  2. That I shouldn’t always go the same routes at the same speeds. Getting off the beaten track and trying somewhere new keeps my mind fresh and the challenge alive.
  3. The best way to get faster is to run intervals (fast, slow) to run up hills or steps and to strengthen my legs with bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges.
  4. To not feel guilty if I’ve missed a few days or even weeks of running. A break does me good and I can start again with no expectations, just get out there and run for as long as I feel like it.
  5. That I can reward myself after going for a run, whether it be with new tv show, a beer or some chocolate. it’s that much more satisfying when I know I’ve earned it.
  6. That it’s well and good to listen to my favourite music but mixing the music up and even listening to some podcasts can make my running experience all that more enriching.
  7. The best to way to get of a rut is to simply stop thinking and get out there. Nobody in the history of existence has ever regretted going for a run. Apart from that Greek guy of course.
  8. That running for fun is all well and good but having a goal to work towards like a 10km or marathon is something I find hugely motivating and pushes me to go out and train even when I don’t feel like it.
  9. The best place for me to solve problems and come up with new ideas or to simply clear my mind is by putting on my trainers and going out for a run.
  10. That the beauty of running is that you get out what you put in.
  11. That most of the time I prefer to run alone but it’s always fun to go with friends.
  12. That gamifying the experience can be a lot of fun. Zombies, Run! is a great app to do this with.
  13. The event I’m training for is merely the icing on the cake, it’s the months of training where I’ll learn the most about myself.
  14. That rest days are just as valuable, if not more valuable, than active ones.
  15. That yoga and deep stretching are lifesavers if I want to be able to run on a regular basis without aches and pains.

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