Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick Running Tip Tuesday - Debit Running (March 27, 2012)

I am a self-motivated runner. 

Translation: I run because I want to run... not because someone is forcing me or expecting me to. 

Translation: I could stop anytime... I choose not to.

A couple of weeks ago, I started coaching the distance guys for a local middle school.  It's a fun little exercise in challenging middle school students to run a 1/2 mile or a mile around the track fast.  Our middle school track coach thought that since I run distance for fun, I could help the guys out.  Actually, I enjoy it.  The sunshine is nice.  It's fun challenging students to do something hard and I get to hang out with kids (which is awesome!). 

Funny thing and interesting difference between myself and my track guys. 
   -I run because I want to. 
   -Many of them run because I make them. 

I was observing some of our team... not the distance guys (they know better... or at least know that I'm watching closer)... as some of them cut out a little early on their required running.  Why?  Because they assumed that no one was watching.  But also because someone is making them run.  While, as a coach, it frustrated me a little.  As a runner, it frustrated me a lot. 

Then it dawned on me today, while I was running (after track practice and thinking about these things), my training and running is like a debit card.  Debit card accounts are different than credit card accounts.  With credit, you purchase first and then pay later.  With debit accounts, you pay first and purchase later. 

So... what does that mean?  There are a couple of guys on my team who want to stay later than others and get in a few extra 800's.  They are paying into their account.  They get out a do a couple of miles on the weekends.  They are paying into their account.  They stretch and eat right and admit when they fail (especially in terms of eating).  They are paying into their account.  They give it their best and hardest effort every time around the track, even if they don't feel like it or when they are cramping and sore.  They are paying into their account. 

And every time they pay into their account, there is more there to withdraw in the future... at a race... at the next meet...

So what does this mean?  The beautiful thing about running at my stage of life is that what I put in... I get out.  No one knows but me if I cut a workout "short."  No one knows but me if I gave my speedwork all my effort.  No one knows but me if I loafed through a tempo run... or if I skipped working out my core... or I ate some junk food. 

But every time that I do... I don't put as much into my debit account... therefore I won't have as much to withdraw come race day. 

So give it all you've got.  Make the deposits! Work hard! Sweat! Do the core stuff!

When you get that medal or that PR... it will be all the sweeter!

Keep running friends!


Disclaimer (if you're into that sort of thing): Jim is not a professional runner nor is this blog endorsed by any company.  These thoughts are merely the thoughts and experiences on one runner.  What works and what doesn't work from a practical level.  Jim hasn't set any records, but he's run a few races (Marathon: 4h 22m / Half-Marathon: 2h 3m / 5k: 22m 57s) and he's been around the block!

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