When I first started running I set out to read every book I could find about running. I wanted to learn everything I could about how to run correctly. I was hungry to discover all the rules I needed to follow in order to have success.
There was no shortage of information to be found. I found rules about stretching & strengthening. Rules about when to do long runs, when to do short runs and how much time to take between the two. I found rules about how many races to run in a year and how to space them out. I even discovered rules about when and what to eat.
Plus, I already had a pretty good set of rules I’d discovered on my own. Rules about walking, (walking = failure). Rules about how far I had to run for it to count, (at least three miles). And rules about listening to music, (it was cheating, but just a little).
I was so focused on doing things the ‘right’ way that I forgot to check in to see what was working for me.None of these rules made running easier. In fact, most of them, made running harder.
The problem with rules is that they are made for the masses. Developed for the ‘average’ runner. They aren’t created for the individual. Each of us is unique and what works for me, may not work for you. You are the only expert on you.
One of the great things about running is that you don’t need any rules to start. Running is an inherently simple act. You lace up your shoes, head out the door and put one foot in front of the other. Repeat that final step. Keep going.
And even though it’s scary, when you trust yourself enough to ditch the rules, you give yourself the freedom to discover what works best for you.
You might notice that taking walk breaks increases the ease and speed of your runs. You might realize that your body enjoys running in the afternoon – even when it’s hot. You might even learn that you like your old-fashioned supportive shoe better than a barefoot one.
Have some fun.
When you can break all the rules you’ve learned about running and write a new rule book just for you – you’re on the path to creating an enjoyable relationship with running built for you.