UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTIONS FOR RUNNERS

I am very fortunate to work with a huge number of runners. I think being someone who runs themselves maybe helps. I see a huge variety of people who run, from those who love nothing more than tail-running at club nights, to the ones who don’t get out of bed for less than 100KM, through to 64 minute 13.1’ers. We runners of course have more than one thing in common, but one recurring – and increasingly common – theme I see is an internalised pressure felt by a *perceived* external pressure. This comes from a variety of places.

None of the below are “bad” or “wrong” answers, I will point out

WHO DO YOU RUN FOR?

Yourself? Your club? To “not let down” someone?

Do you feel that you “hold up” someone faster than you? Do you run faster than you would like to, so as not to “ruin” someone else’s run? You would probably be shocked at how many people feel the pressure, completely unbeknownst to their social circle. Always check in with each other 🙂

HOW DO YOU MEASURE YOUR RUN?

In Miles? In KMs? Pace? Time? ‘Kudos’? Social Media Reaction?

May sound daft to some, but when we ask that question, it throws up some really interesting responses in clinic.

If I asked you to run for a month without your watch, what would you say?

WHAT DO YOU NOTICE WHEN YOU RUN?

How it feels? The colour of the leaves? How many other runners say Hello 🙂 ? When your watch beeps? How “quick” that mile was compared to last week?

Internal feedback is hugely important for runners. Rate of Perceived Exertion is a way of feeding back to yourself how hard – out of 10 – you feel that you are working. Keeping a diary of this can be useful, alongside criteria such as how much sleep you have had, your general wellbeing, how well you have fuelled, who you are running with, the weather etc. Sometimes, the data does lie. Are you a slave to stats?

HOW DOES RUNNING FEEL?

Amazing! Easy? Hard? Sluggish? A struggle? A chore?

Remember, we *get* to run, not because we *have* to run. It is a privilege not afforded to all and should be enjoyable.

Take the time to ask each other how we all really are; ensure we are running for the right reasons; and maybe, just sometimes, leave the technology at home 🙂

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