Hey friends, happy Friday!
So as I’ve mentioned this before, but I work with a lot of very active, health-conscious folks. They’re into hiking, rock-climbing, boot camp, you name it! Most of them like to run, but for the most part, they aren’t into distance running.
The expressions I get when I tell them I’ve gone and signed up for another half or full marathon are priceless.
“That sounds so boring“
Boring is actually the word I get a lot. Maybe that’s a function of being in the OCR industry – a lot of OCR athletes prefer obstacle course racing because they see the obstacles as breaking up the monotony of a run. And I get where they’re coming from. Just plain old running by yourself with nothing but your thoughts for hours on end? It sounds boring. But it’s not – not if you’re doing it right.
I think what has really hooked me on running is the goal to be constantly improving on my last race. And once you have that goal that you’re fixated on and training towards, there are suddenly so many variables, so many schools of thought, and so many training plans, that how can you be bored? It’s this big experiment, and you’re both scientist and lab rat. Your variables include (but aren’t limited to):
- Nutrition (both your pre-run breakfast as well as your overall nutrition)
- Training for a 5k looks very different than training for a marathon, but both can be incredibly challenging depending on your goals.
- Training Plan (custom, Hansons, Hal Higdon, Runners World, etc…)
- Once you have your training plan, there’s even more variables, like speedwork, hills, long runs, and tempo runs. Hopefully, a good training plan will give you direction on how to control these things.
- Having a coach – another variable, but also a source of control over the variables of the training runs.
- Minimalist or heavy cushioning or somewhere in between?
- Gear! For example, there are a THOUSAND different types of GPS watches as well as many different types of compression socks/sleeves. Both types of products are designed to be used to make better runners.
- Fuel (like GU or Honeystingers)
- Life. Because like it or not, it sometimes gets in the way. 😉
Maybe I was a crazed scientist in another life, but a big part of me needs to keep playing with these variables until I reach my peak performance. And with this many variables, I could be experimenting for a long time. But that’s part of the thrill for me – I’m not in this for quick results, just steady improvement, however incremental that may be. It’s this mindset that has led me from a 2:12 half marathon (4 years ago) to a 1:45 half marathon and from a 4:36 marathon to a 3:57 – and I know there is SO much more I can do to get faster as long as I continue to run.
And if I get “bored” with marathons and half marathons, well then maybe I’ll start training for a crazy fast 5k. 🙂 That is actually what I am hoping to do once I’ve adequately recovered from Baystate in 2 weeks. See, it’s kind of hard to get bored when there are so many races to run and PRs to set!
So that’s my little rant about why running isn’t boring – I’ll get off my soapbox now. 🙂
Have you been told running is boring before?