By: Kim Chula-Maguire
“My philosophy on running is, I don’t dwell on it, I do it.”It is such a simple philosophy, but it remains an elegantly effective way to approach any endeavor in life-I guess Nike figured this out. Do I have a philosophy on running? I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it. I try to do the best I can. I always have a goal time to pursue; an approach that usually serves me well and keeps me motivated to keep training. However, I’ve recently had some disappointing race performances that were challenging to deal with and made me question some aspects of my running. Maybe if I had an overall running philosophy I’d be better able to put these performances in perspective.
My first response when I have a bad performance is to think, “Of course I didn’t do well; I’m 20 years older than my competitors, I work full-time, and I have a family. Why would I expect to do well?” Then I think, “I’m not going to push myself anymore because it’s pointless. Given all of the above reasons, why would I expect to do well? Then, I reflect on my preparation: I go back and review my running logs to see if I can find a problem in my training; I search the internet to try to understand if the work I’m doing matches up with the current science of training; I complain to my running partners and to my coach and beg them to give me the secret to success. Basically, I do the exact opposite of the above quote,I dwell, and dwell, and dwell some more-at least for a little while.
Once I go through the dwelling process, I finally put things in perspective. I realize I’m 20 years older than many of my competitors, yet I still beat some of them. I work full-time and have a family, yet I’m still good enough that even if my training is not optimal, I can compete. I love to run, and to train hard, and to push myself to higher levels of performance, so I do.
Then I am motivated to get back out there and do it. So, maybe I do have a philosophy: I can run, so I do. From now on, even if I have a bad race, I’m not going to dwell on it. I’m just going to get back out there tomorrow and do it some more. This philosophy can apply to all of us in any activity that we choose to pursue, and it will help to keep you “moving forward.”