15 Things About Life You Learn When You’re A Long Distance Runner

Flickr / Nicholas A. Tonelli
Flickr / Nicholas A. Tonelli

1. The hardest part is getting started.

When trying something new, it is especially hard to get started.

Congratulate yourself on starting to give yourself momentum to keep going.

2. You don’t have to be the fastest or the best, be the best you can be.

I am not close to winning races, but I still like to do better than I have before. If I try my hardest, I can be proud of wherever I finish in a race or in life.

3. Look straight ahead at your goals.

Only look back to congratulate yourself on how far you have come.

Unless you have crossed the finish line, there is still race to run. Stay focused on what you need to do.

4. Stop and fix small problems before they become a big problem.

My backpack was rubbing my back for a couple of miles, but I didn’t want to stop. After another mile, I knew I couldn’t ignore it. I stopped and made some quick adjustments. The rest of the race was much more comfortable.

5. Breathe deeply, it can surprise you how much it helps.

I tend to hold my breathe when I’m nervous. Some deep relaxing breathing helps calm me down and think more clearly.

6. When going through a tough time remember an even harder time you have been through.

Focus on how much stronger you are now, and that you survived those challenging times.

7. Run your own race.

Listen to your instincts, your body, and what you want instead of what you should want. Set your own goals in life.

8. Set your pace to someone a little faster than you.

Trying to achieve more by learning from someone more experienced can be very helpful. There were 100 mile ultra runners that were on the trail the same time as me. Even though I never plan on running that far, I was inspired by their perseverance.

Be inspired by those who are ahead of you

9. You will hurt sometimes, it doesn’t mean you have to give up.

No one said life would be easy or pain free, accept that and keep going.

10. Distract yourself when it gets hard.

Listening to music, talking with friends, getting outside are all great ways to shift focus from tough times.

11. Break your goals up into smaller pieces.

Half your goals, if that isn’t enough to make it feel manageable 1/4 your goals.

It is all right to stop and take a break, just keep going after the break.

Stopping is not the same as giving up.

At the halfway mark, breaking up my goals to make them less intimidating.

12. Saying I can do it out loud helps.

It really does make you believe it!

13. If you stop believing you can do it, listen to others who do believe in you.

Let the infusion of positive support from family, friends, and other runners be your strength in the tough times.

14. “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think!” — Winnie the Pooh

Running definitely teaches that you are much stronger than you think you are!

15. You will never be all the way ready or prepared for everything.

If you want to do it enough stop waiting and just do it!

Roaring always helps me keep going. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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