Running Introduction || Run rethink

Are you over 30, over 40? What is your running ambition? Maybe you are a beginner, or already an experienced marathoner, same question to both of you. 

Why is it that you run? Or why do you call yourself a runner? Or if not, why not? What needs to happen to call yourself a runner?

Hi my name is Heiko, thanks for dropping in.

If you are looking for running motivation via a video that contains stunning scenery, a runner dashing off into the sunset. with loud music, a fist-punching-in-the-air kind of video about , sorry you selected the wrong video.

It’s me, not you.. honestly:

Let me tell you why. First off: I can‘t edit videos, nor can I add loud music, plus it’s winter here and damn cold and I am not going outside today anymore.

But if you want to become a better, more regular, smarter and faster runner this is the right place for you. Because. What I can do and what I am quite knowledgeable about is running. Not Darts, not Bowling, not Curling all great sports I am sure, for me I specialize in running.

Actually, as a qualified endurance coach, and a runner for over 35 years, I think I know what thoughts are running through your head.

You see your running is a process, even if you run every day or just somedays. 

You belong to one of the three. Consistency, Mastery, or Injury. Take your pick. 

There is no shortcut. No easy way in or out of either process. You have to go through it.

Go through what does that mean. Hang on, I will tell you.

You are either looking for consistency, or looking for time/ distance improvement, or are currently recovering from an injury.

See I told you: Congratulations, this is the right Blog for you. 

We’ve all been there; you know you should get changed into your running gear. Tie those shoelaces and just finally get going. You know full and well, that once you are outside, you will run. And after the run you will be glad you did it. Please note the word “after”.

You know it, but so often you end up failing yourself. 

  • You didn’t run even though the weather was great. 
  • You didn’t run even though you had enough time. 

And the more you think about it, the more valid reasons you have that just add up to the facts that you wanted to but couldn’t or simply didn’t. Actually, the case is closed.

And this does something with you. It causes something inside of you that will not only affect you, but those around you too. You see, you know that “not following up”, that “not doing what you wanted to do” leads to some frustration. And what do we do when we are frustrated? It might just be that reason you got mad at someone for taking your parking spot. Silly isn’t it, it never was your parking spot to begin with. Why would you react like that?

Or if you are contemplating a new distance, hey especially in the plus 40 age group. Maybe you are great at running for 30 minutes, and now you are thinking of going for a 10K, or even a half-marathon. Or you want to prove to yourself what you are capable of. Perhaps striving for a new improved time. Yes, improved time. There are many over 40 year old runners’ that I have worked with who have simply had enough of being a long-distance-slow runner. And suddenly their goal is to not only progress to a 10K, but also get a sub 50:00 minute time.

Look, honestly this blog is made for people like you and me. Middle of the pack runners’ who still need to ensure that family, career, and normal day to day life doesn’t come short.

You know this: Training for a goal, even a triathlon, an Ironman or preparing for a sub 3:00 marathon is extremely time consuming, and I take my hat off to those that already have such goals.

Now: 

If you are aiming to be a national champion, or a state champion then you might not feel at home on this Blog.

Because here this is coaching about basics. That’s the essence of running isn’t it? I mean you cannot progress to the next level unless you have mastered the current one. That’s just the main rule of this sport. If you run a 3K every second day, chances are you will not be able to do a half-marathon without risking injury, or the run being an extremely unpleasant experience. So unpleasant, it might put you off from running for a long time.

Yes, it’s not so glamorous to talk about processes, mental techniques and basics, it really doesn’t make for a great Instagram account either, beach scene, the two runners heading down through the waves Ha Ha. But remember comparison is the thief of all joy. Most probably those other people on Instagram are just better photographers than you are.

On this Blog, it’s also about making the progress from being injured to getting back into running shape. 

From lacking consistency to developing yourself to be a consistent runner. From being stuck in a running routine, to finding yourself inspired by new distances, new paces, and new improved times. From overcoming that did not finish and finding the vital mental attitude and courage to try again.

Without knowing you, I know one thing about you. I know what you want: you want to be faster. Or want to run longer. 

You definitely want to feel better during and after your run. 

I have some bad news for you.

This is something you cannot get from a quick fix. A quick fix is that inspiring Facebook post. That running video with a spectacular mountain pass, and all you hear is the runner’s breath, and perhaps a majestic eagle in the sky.

Why are those posts not enough? Why don’t they make us work harder towards our goals? Well, up to a certain point they have an effect. But they lack that inner connection which you need to develop to achieve anything demanding, over a long period. 

The so-called motivational video or post doesn’t resonate with your running story. That’s why there is no internal motivation, or intrinsic motivation being developed. Most of the material out there is not even touching the surface in regard to developing mental powers. Already to some of you, just hearing this word feels awkward. If then you should definitely stay tuned, because it shows you that there is something which strikes a chord.

If you reflect on all the years as a runner, and also those of you that run, but don’t feel like you want to call yourself a runner what can you tell me about following topics:

  • Running shoes
  • Smart watches
  • Stretching

I am pretty sure you could explain to me how you felt about using a certain shoe in a race and it either did well or didn’t. I remember a pair of new trail running shoes. Took them on a 50K Ultra here in the south of Germany. I was so disappointed. I could make a separate blog with all the details.

Or smart watches, I would love to readers to, what you have experienced as being the most suitable watch. Or perhaps you prefer running without.

These topics: shoes, watches, stretching they don’t make or break a race event do they? I mean even with a bad pair of running shoes, you can finish the race. But who does that, you know not to test new shoes on race day. SO presume you run regularly in those shoes, it’s highly unlikely to lead to race disaster.

Or smart watches, if the watch somehow fails. Maybe you didn’t charge it properly. (Apparently that happens to some runners) again, it is not a make-or-break topic.

So whenever you meet another runner, maybe at an event, you could immediately strike up a pleasant conversation with one of those topics.

Now if I ask you to tell me about mental techniques.

Well, some popular response might be: (according to Google)

  • Running is mind over matter.
  • The voice in your head that says you can’t do it is wrong.
  • Running clears my head.

Let me get this wait I need to think:

Not really helpful. What does that even mean mind over matter? And that voice in my head.. yes definitely I hear it and now what? What exactly am I supposed to do?

Just think of the last time you were on a run that was important to you, and you had a difficult time. Could have been that the terrain was tough, you had some stomach issue, or something didn’t feel right.

Recall the event, the scenery and the weather. Now bring yourself into the picture and recall exactly that stage where you were struggling. Maybe it was the halfway mark. Or perhaps towards the end of the race. I sincerely hope it wasn’t the beginning of the race, that’s a tough one.

Now would any of those quotes have helped you during that struggle. 

  • Running is mind over matter.
  • The voice in your head that says you can’t do it is wrong.
  • Running clears my head.

Or for that matter, that Instagram photo of runners smiling and running along a pristine beach, and “just do it” appearing in a cool font?

Don’t think so. You know why, it doesn’t go deep enough. In order for a change to happen we as humans, that’s just how we are wired, need to have an emotional reference to activate that intrinsic motivation. A slogan is like a quick fix energy drink. Definitely it will do something, might get you over that next hill, but the range or duration is pretty limited. And we all know what happens after a sugar rush. You come crashing down. 

And somehow this is where mental techniques finish for most runners. 

Far less runners explore mental techniques that are scientifically proven, than they spend time or money on selecting new shoes. But we all know that shoes don’t make you faster.

Why wouldn’t we want to learn more about something that somehow sounds like it makes sense? You know that you have the mental attitude to think so negatively about a race, or an upcoming run, that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So it makes sense that this thing works the other way round, doesn’t it?

There is a reason runners’ don’t invest time and effort into mental techniques.

You know why that is? Because it is easier to know what to do than what to believe.

To believe in a new thought process, a new technique, is a change. A pattern interrupt. And as runners’ we want to keep the same pace, the same rhythm, the same feeling for as long as possible. There are enough mental distractions already out there, how to learn a new one. Which has the disadvantage that we become content with being long slow middle of the pack runners’, whilst we could be exploring and satisfying our curiosity as to how far or how fast we could be going.

Well that’s why we focus on these Core Beliefs.

  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Actionable

Even though the methods are complex, we have broken them down to be simple to use. 

The way the processes are thought to be ingrained in your memory so you can easily recall them and use them, they are actionable before, during and after your run.

What these programs also do is they ensure you stick with it. Number 1, you paid for it, so it is an investment. You have to tell yourself to show up and commit to what you signed up for. Is it not strange that apparently according to great speakers be it Tony Robbins they say that most of their Books, online courses, are not completed. Just a few, a small minority actually follow through.

But you are already running. You know about the dip. This is not a Fitness subscription, where like in a Bell curve people quit at wrong time

There is always a dip. Gyms are full in Jan-Feb, it’s in March and April that it gets empty.

Don’t fall for the trick:

Tomorrow you can eat for free. It is about now, right now. Because, and you know this

Your attitude and behavior leads to results. That’s the secret ingredient.

Consistency, Faster, Longer, Better running. Attitude and behavior.

Your attitude leads to thoughts, 

Your thoughts lead to emotions, and your emotions lead to words.

Those words you speak, lead to deeds, the deeds lead to habits, which eventually make up your character and become your personality.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the running process. Whether injured, looking for commitment or striving for mastery. 

Right now, just focus on one word.

Become curious about what keeps you from going for a run.

Become curious as to what it is that you want from that better time, that further distance.

Be curious as to what you will do differently once you start running again.

The best thing you can do right now, that first step towards your run dream

Do use this by doing it.

My name is Heiko.

Take it easy.

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