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Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am a runner. I’m running a series of 10k races this year with an aim to increase to marathon distance and a wild ambition to run a marathon in many of the continents around the world.

Not surprisingly this involves quite a bit of training which in turn gives me time for thinking. On a recent training run I started to think about the lessons I’ve learnt from running and how they apply to lots of other areas in my life too.

I thought about how I pace my training runs. I’m quite competitive and want to run every training session as fast as I can. Usually, I end up injured from this, have to spend a week or two away from training and sometimes too much money on physiotherapists to get me back in shape.  The solution I’ve found is to mix up my training schedule. I still do the speed sessions but I now include quite a few ‘easy’ sessions that are much slower.

The parallel to this is running full throttle in my working and social lives too. There are times when this is needed, but in the longer term I’ve found that I need to build in some down time to stop me becoming unwell or too fatigued to carry on.

The second lesson I’ve found comes when pacing my races. In my early races I used to head out of the blocks ‘like a rabbit’. I would look to keep ahead of those around me irrespective of how I was feeling and what the impact would be on my ultimate finishing time. The usual outcome was that I’d burn out after a couple of miles and spend the rest of the race feeling the lactic acid take over my muscles making me run slower and slower. After one too many races like this, I decided to investigate proper race pacing. Since I started running at the extremes of my own limits rather than beyond them, as I looked to keep pace with others, I have performed significantly better.

Again, I think there are huge parallels with my working and social lives. Rather than looking to keep pace with friends or work colleagues, I’ve found that running my own race is a far better way of being happy with my achievements.

Am I lost and running? Hopefully a little less now!

About this song:

I spent a couple of years living in Australia and picked up a quite a few musical influences along the way – Powderfinger being just one of them! Taken from their sixth studio album “Dream Days at the Hotel Existence“, I really like the simple chord structure for this song and the sing-along chorus. Give it a go, you might like it!