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Running: The Challenge

Runners are an odd bunch.

We seek challenge and adversity in our lives. It’s easy to stay in and hang out on the couch, watching whatever is on the television, eating too many chips, or drinking too much of whatever is on tap.

Most people would not find running a hundred miles as an enjoyable activity, but people do it anyway. It’s that thrill of striving for the unknown, and reaching your physical limit that motivates us as runners to push our selves every day.

Even in our drive to push our capabilities though, we can become complacent in our training schedule. After a while, running can almost become routine. It goes from being an escape to another chore to check off in the box as completed.

From one runner to another, I’m going to throw down the gauntlet.

I challenge you to unplug

Am I in my target heart rate? What’s my pace? Let me change that song, I’m not feeling it.

The late great runner Steve Prefontaine once said “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” To give anything less than your total attention to the run, is to waste the opportunity. Modern technology is great, but if you become a slave to the computer strapped to your wrist, what are you learning about yourself? Find out what you are truly capable of, and learn how to pace yourself naturally. Give up the GPS and the MP3 player, and tune into your own rhythm.

I challenge you to explore

Repeating the same courses are great benchmarks for personal progress. Every now and then though, take the path less traveled. You may be surprised at what you might find. It could be a fantastic scenic road, you might find your new favorite restaurant, or it could be some obnoxious dog. You never know until you find out.

I challenge you to dedicate time daily for stretching and conditioning

That foam roller sitting in your corner only works when you use it. Don’t have a foam roller? Than improvise, lacrosse balls are great for busting up tight muscles. My personal favorite tool of torture is a piece of scrap PVC pipe. It does not take long to get some pushups and core work in, but consistency is critical. Take care of yourself; don’t use “I’m busy” as an excuse to not do the general maintenance. Use “I’m busy” as the reason to take just a few minutes a day for yourself and your health.

I challenge you to run real

Every day can be a new and exciting adventure. Albert Einstein said “Adversity introduces man to himself.” Seek out challenge in your life and reach your potential.

Run Real
SKORA Ambassador, Andrew McLean

You may also like:
Active Isolated Stretching
Is Complementary Training Right for You
The Specifics of "Run Real"

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COMMENTS

  • As someone who runs in an area that's just too unsafe to listen to headphones in, I feel this post. I ran in headphones for years, at first to tune in (match my feet to the beat, etc.), then to tune out (ignore the snorts the sweaty foreign girl is getting abroad), but I don't think I've ever been as aware of how I'm doing, inside and out, until I had to chuck them out of necessity. I resented it at first, but I've come to like it, and I ran my first half-marathon last weekend (for which I'm rewarding myself with my first pair of Skoras once my feet de-blister enough not to gross out the store clerk) with neither headphones nor heart rate monitor. And I got to hear everything. My breathing, the breathing of the thousands around me, the forest full of birds we were running through, the compliment a guy zipping past on his way to catch up from a bathroom break paid me--"You're so light on your feet!" I like hearing these things. I want to hear these things. I don't think I'll put the headphones back in even when I move somewhere safe enough to do so.

  • Incredible write up, Andrew. I really enjoyed reading it. Had me really thinking about just leaving the music at home for some runs. I do a lot of runs without GPS. Again...good stuff.

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Twitter

  • @nwcoastgal Cool, I can't wait to do a single race 8 years in a row. Need to stop moving around so much!

    7 hours ago

  • @nwcoastgal There's something great about repeatedly doing a race, to track your improvement over multiple years.

    8 hours ago

  • @drose0 Oh year, you got this. Be sure to have higher distance days and easier days, for some variation.

    8 hours ago