If you are ever going through a tough period in your running, whether through lack of motivation, injury or anything else like this, it is always good to have certain pillars that are part of the foundation of your success in running.
These pillars are critical factors that can help you achieve your running goals because they can always be there to fall back on when things get difficult.
For me, it’s important to keep these factors in my mind or accessible, so that when I need them I can use them to continue running and get back to running my best.
Just as with so many things in running, everyone has different pillars that are the foundation to running successfully. Here are mine:
My Five Pillars of Running Success
Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). This is what I always think about when I think about attitude. Of course, there are going to be times – like after a difficult run – where maybe some negative thoughts creep into your mind. The important thing with negative thoughts is to keep them as few and far between as possible. And when they come into your mind, do your best to “reframe the situation” and find something positive to take from the situation.
I realize that sometimes it is easier said than done to maintain a positive attitude, but how you react to something is the only thing that you can really control. The more you look for positives, the better off you’ll be!
Right now, and for the last three and a half years, I have chosen to have my consistency mean running every single day. For me, this takes the IF or SHOULD I go running out of my daily equation. When I know that I will be running on any given day, I only have to decide how far or how hard to make my run.
Anything that you can do to make your thought process smoother can allow you to spend your time focusing on the really important aspects of your running like the quality of the workout you are doing. For me, staying consistent and never having to decide if I will go running really helps me be better prepared for each run or week of running!
When you enjoy something, it becomes easier to do and much easier to continue to do over a longer period of time. I think that this can be said for anything in life, but I know that it can be said for running. There are a lot of ways that you can make running more enjoyable. You can listen to music, a podcast or a book while running. You can run with friends or find a local running group. Or you can provide yourself with a challenge and reward yourself once you complete it.
To get more enjoyment out of my running, I change up my running route frequently and sometimes listen to music. I also take part in races, which is a type of reward for me at the end of a training cycle. As I’ve said before (in my Meeting Challenges post), one of my favorite things about running since mid-2019 has been my involvement with Dad Bod Jog Club – a virtual running group that I joined last year that provides a great online running community and puts on challenges to help motivate runners in a really enjoyable way!
This is one that I have come to realize the importance of more and more over the last 18 months. During this time, I have increased my mileage significantly and with that I have really had to make sure that I am getting the proper amounts of rest to recover quickly. On the day (or days – depending on the intensity) after hard efforts, I make sure to keeps my runs nice and easy whether in volume or intensity.
Getting better rest and recovery allows me to be ready to go once my next hard effort comes around.
There are no quick or easy fixes, in running or most other things either. Allowing yourself to be patient can help you improve over time because you won’t burn yourself out. Patience also allows you to have more fun and keep your stress levels down by not constantly stressing out if you aren’t progressing as quickly as you might like.
Patience can be especially important when you are first starting out running or just returning from some time away from running.
Having these five pillars gives me a great foundation to go after my running goals. And if I ever feel like I’m getting off track, remembering that I have these gets me back in the right mindset!
What are your pillars? Let me know in the comments below!
More from RUNPATRUN.COM:
- COMING SOON: I am currently working on a series of new blog posts about races. I’m hoping to post a new one every 3-4 weeks. I will be doing longer posts on my 4 favorite races that I have done over the years. I will also have other racing-related posts, including my racing bucket list as well as reviews of events that I will be taking part in over the coming months.
- Is it still hot where you live? Check out my tips for Running Through the Heat post!
- With the upcoming release (in the US) of Kipchoge: The Last Milestone, I will be putting together another post about running movies that I like. In case you missed the first post from a few months ago, let me know what you think of my Movies and Books That Inspire!