Newbie runners are always asking advice on what they should or should not do when they begin a running regimen. Mostly what you hear is the same advice being given-don’t start too fast, wear the right sneakers, don’t increase your mileage more than 10% a week etc.
What I don’t hear as much is that running is hard. And I mean f$%#ing hard. I have been running for twenty years and it’s still f$%#ing hard. There are days that a run feels so great and you think you’ve run your fastest three miles only to find out you were four minutes slower than normal. There are also days that the stars align and all your training falls into place and you PR. And then there are the days that it just plain hurts to run, and when I say hurts, I am not saying injury hurt, I am saying it is tough the entire time. And the funny thing is those tough as balls runs tend to be the most rewarding.
I have been a fast runner and much to my dismay I have also been a slow runner, which is my current dilemma. Do you know the biggest similarity between being a fast runner and a slow runner? They are both hard. Sometimes I look at these superfast runners and think they make it look so easy, but in all reality, it is not easy, not even for them. Some runners just make it look easier than others.
My advice to the newbie runner is to understand that running is hard, even after years of practice. What you need to learn as a newbie runner is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once you make that click it actually does get easier. When I run a race I am always in that uncomfortable zone, but that is exactly where I am supposed to be. It shouldn’t be comfortable because then I wouldn’t actually be pushing myself. What in life that is really worthwhile has ever been easy to achieve???
Now if your goals are just to run without ever wanting to get fast or achieve a certain time, then by all means ignore this advice and just run. But, if your goals are to become a better runner, to achieve a time goal or to really push yourself to the limit, then you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable….period.
Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable?