Benefit Coach || Expert Insights

Runner and coach doing sports training on track and field. The coach is measuring results with a stopwatch

Training bliss. You are enjoying it  especially now  it is springtime. How great is that? And now you are going into power mode. You feel it’s time. Time to go the distance. Time to go further than any human ever before  well no, but further than you have ever gone 

Thank you for joining me on today’s blog. I am happy you decided to join me. Seems like you enjoyed the blog of the injured runner. Actually, one listener had a comment. And the comment was that I had made a mistake in regard to one of the studies. UUUUH

Apparently, what I had said was, that 30% who didn’t train with a basketball  sorry I am jumping ahead: The study I was referring to said that 30% of Basketball players that  only used mental techniques, had improved. 

The attentive listener said I must’ve been mistaken, surely it was 30% of players that practiced and used mental techniques improved.


That was what the study wanted to blog about. Means, without physical training, only relying on their mental training did they blog an improvement So no, it wants a mistake.

There are other studies out there of course that reveal if you practice and use mental techniques the result is much higher, but that wasn’t my point. 

My point had nothing to do with basketball, I just used that study because it is a fairly detailed one, and is referred to often.

I used the point to relate to running of course. That for example:

My point was: if you have just had knee or ankle surgery for example, and now you cannot run at all. Walking isn’t even possible without crutches and if you ever had such an injury  look it could even be a sprained ankle. That’s anywhere between 3 – 6 weeks. That can feel like CENTURIES. 

What can you do? Strength training  yes  could, but not really like running is it? And now comes my point: STUDY  ONLY doing mental training  then in such circumstances you really should learn how to properly do mental training. Because the effects, and I should have gone more into it, the effect it has on that injured runner. It makes a world of difference, whether the brain refreshes and builds those neurons, those synapsis which are activated whilst running, being trained whilst the body is recuperating. Even better, there are ways to train mentally that ensure your running reaches a higher level. Maybe you heard about it, how some pro athletes came back after injury even stronger. You should give it a try: There will be improvements. But I hope you are not injured and can enjoy the spring. 

That was the point I wanted. Ok. We move on to today’s blog? By the way, no ads for some sports drink or a big thank you to my sponsors, I personally never enjoy a blog with a 4 minute ad, that’s why here we dive right in.

Now I would really like to know  if you have trained during the winter months. How satisfied are you with your run training? I mean if you were to take a quick satisfactory test. How high would you score? What would you or how would you rate your performance so far?

Some of you would mention times and distances. But that’s not what I mean. I mean in terms of exploring some new boundaries, going further than you went before. Seriously YES  ha! Especially if you are one of those “oh I always run the same distance”, or “If the distance I run fits in perfectly with my schedule”.

I understand that. And hey, congrats you are going for a run, sure. But is that really the answer you are going to settle for? Maybe it’s not wanting to offend you, but could it just be an excuse? 

Just think about it, you don’t need to answer me 

Yes, today we talk about running further.

Further than you ever ran. Now just for asking’s sake. Is that a thought you ever wake up with? Like, I want to run further. Doesn’t need to be today. But someday.

Or has that thought never crossed your mind? If it hasn’t crossed your mind, you should think about it. You should give it some thought, after all exploring your potential is always worth it. 

And where do you get chances to really explore and still experiment. Seriously, very few chances. If you are someone with those, play it safe. No not judging just saying, you know keep it safe and pay attention to your next career move, or buying something new  double check, rather be double sure before signing that dotted line.

If this fits you, then it is even more reason for you to consider running longer. Running further. Why, well  it is a risky undertaking, yes, but if you fail there are no serious consequences. Let me rephrase that  should you not be able to go as far as you think you could.

But let me explain, I see most people fully overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 3 or 5 years.

First off: You define what a long distance is. It really depends on you as a runner. But right now as you are reading tell me what is the distance you feel most comfortable with. That distance that you know you can run right now, no questions asked. Maybe for you it’s a 5K, or a 10K, for some of you   you are at a high level of training and you know you can run a half marathon. You just know, you could do it.

the coach times and gives tips for the ride to his young runner athlete with the tablet

Or if you are a really serious and experienced runner, a marathon is doable for you. If you think about it, yes, you mentally most probably see yourself in the conditions of your body as you spend a couple of hours outdoors.

See by running far, by going further there are beneficial physical and mental effects that trigger off in your brain. 

What does a running coach tell you, which are important too  Start With Your Mind. Preparation for a long run begins in your head.   

Focus on Hydration & Nutrition.   

It’s Not a Race, Pace Yourself.   

Break It Into Sections.   

Consider Refueling Mid-Run.   

Don’t Skip Post-Run Recovery.

But let’s start right at point 1. How does it start? In your brain. I can tell you how it doesn’t start. It doesn’t start if you are not running. It doesn’t start if running is a struggle, if getting out to do a training run is a difficult process for you.

Those thoughts don’t come at that moment in time, because you are as one would say not in the correct mindset, or you are not in the correct state of mind. 

There first has to be a WANT. A desire to go further. And this part, hey it is like you ever saw someone who has a tattoo that’s really weird. And you are like “what were you thinking”  well I can tell you   it started somewhere in his brain. And if it’s a really weird one, a weird tattoo that is not brain, there was a desire to try something.

And you, rather than getting a tattoo, or another one, use that creative streak and apply it to your running. 

Whether you currently run 5K’s or regularly run marathons.

Let me rephrase that  I hope you are a regular listener because then I know you won’t take offense. If you are one of those “I always do it that way”  or “I always park there”  or “this is how I do it”  This is the perfect blog for you  you should not only listen but pay attention and DO. 

Use that spike of creativity, combine it with curiosity and explore further distances.

If we never tried something new we’d all still be trying to survive on breast milk or baby food and we’d still be wearing diapers. We’d never have learned how to drive a car or play a musical instrument or a sport or how to cook or knit.

You will not only develop mentally, and we will go into that just now  just in case this mental stuff isn’t your thing, relax , continue reading.

Going further will ensure that you learn how to develop a proper oh and maintain correct running mechanics.

You will be having a lot of experience that you describe as “an Epic run”. You won’t have to read about some other runner who did something and you are admiring and comparing their running adventure with your current performance. That deprives you of happiness. 

Yes I know, running further takes: Takes time & commitment. But hang on, we are just starting to discuss it. You haven’t even taken a single step further. You are just wrapping your head around an idea. 

Why you should contemplate it is one of the biggest benefits runners find and they don’t believe me when I tell them this. 

What’s going to happen is  You are going to discover other less valuable activities or things that you choose to remove from your life.

Seek out the thrill of discovery more often over time because there is very little downside

Find I like things I never thought I would.

And you know I like to quote from the bible, it’s the backup I look for In Ephesians 4:24, we’re told “clothe yourselves with the new self,

Trying something new doesn’t come easy for a lot of us including those of us who have been running for a long time. 

Trying Something New   Isaiah 43:18-21 

Would you describe yourself as a person who has a routine and prefers the familiar or do you see yourself as being more spontaneous and enjoying new and unfamiliar experiences? What do you think people who know you would say?

Are you more likely to go to the same locations (restaurant, walking, gas station) or to try new ones?

If someone were to ask you, “What is new in your spiritual life or in your walk with Christ?” How would you answer that question?

ISAIAH 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 

What will happen is your running routine will have to be adapted. If currently you are running 6 days a week. You should be prepared to reduce it to 3 times per week. For the first 4 to 6 weeks. It’s the time your body will need to adapt. Weird huh, you want to go longer back first it slows down. No it’s not a mistake don’t send me a voicemail LOL  The body needs time to adapt to the new physical demands being placed upon it, and research tells us that it takes a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks for adaptation to occur from the training stimulus

You should increase by 10 to 20% per week. So take it easy is the motto. 

Who knows you might be forced to run off the beaten, off your beaten track. Finally you find out where that dirt road leads to. And whilst you run on that soft sand you realize smelling that dust being off on this trail Is really to your liking. Next thing you are into trail running. Why, well because you FELT it you EXPERIENCED it. That’s nothing, not a feeling that a magazine can give you, that’s experience. 

You will have to learn to run and walk. What   a run walk  looks like if you react with surprise  you are most probably a flat runner. A runner who is an expert at avoiding hills. Who knows his area in order to avoid any elevation gain.

Because as soon as you start training longer distances, you need to learn how to properly run and walk.  

Your pace will change. You will need a slower pace to make the distance, but I bet you that pretty soon after perhaps 2 or 3 months you will find that you want to reach your old pace. And that’s when the fun starts. 

If you are unsure how to go about it, focus on longer run times rather than distance.

Remember to focus on endurance  speed comes later 

Make Every Step Count, a running guide that changes your attitude?

And if your first thought is “I doubt it” then definitely you should get the book.

Doing the basics, is the best place to go to once you are in a negative rut once your minds cruise around the same negative thoughts. Make Every Step Count keeps you focussed on what matters.

And if that doesn’t help, then do what it says in the bible
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Today I had a lot on my mind. Thanks for your patience. Thanks for your interest. Do leave me a rating and share the blog to someone who needs to hear it. My name is Heiko thanks for reading.
God Bless You and remember, take it easy.


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