The Science, Sport and Success of Running


So many of us run for the heck of it, because we can, with narry a thought to the restrained passion inside us – a leashed and unfulfilled drive with unfathomable and explosive potential waiting to happen.

Running is arguably one of the most challenging sports to be successful at. Many would say, “well that depends on your definition of success,” as some see success as being able to get out of bed and jog a mile, while some define success as completing a 5k. Yet still, there are those who think of success in terms of the medals they earn and/or the prize money and place to be won at a race. However defined, success makes the case for a science behind running the Sport and not just for sport.
The very nature of running demands a free expression, hence why we have so many different types and levels of runners. However, it also speaks to our reasoning and methodology. The various reasons that provide the impetus for our stepping out could range from self- motivation to survival and everywhere in-between. All this does is give us a nudge in the right direction, however we arrive there having little impact on how we do going forward; our success or lack thereof will depend largely on the method we use to develop our running ability and garner finesse.
Additionally, it is a Sport that cannot be contained in a box but allows the runner the liberty to be; by the same notion it leaves the responsibility for maximizing its potential in our sometimes less-than-capable hands. We often don’t see the genius in ourselves – being our worst critics – and so never invest in realizing our true running potential.
Here are a few ways we can go about investing:
1. Educate ourselves on the nature of running through educational materials either written or made by experts in the field such as professional runners, coaches or ex-pros.
2. Run consistently, while assessing our competiveness and ability through races.
3. Join a running group for encouragement and accountability
4. Engage a coach to help with techniques and training for races to increase speed and efficiency
5. Follow a plan incorporating a regular running schedule with healthy eating habits and aspects of cross training and exercise to fuel runs
6. Believe in ourselves and be realistic about our ability and expectation, surrounding ourselves with those who will affirm and support our dreams.
While many runners can identify with the above, there will those who argue that running is either not for them or not to be taken too seriously. To each his own I say, but I’m a  firm believer in putting your best foot forward and giving your natural abilities a fair chance before making a life-altering decision. Whether the choice is to be a successful runner, to run for fun, or  not to venture out at all – crazy but possible, a more true saying does not exist, “don’t knock it before you try it.”

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