I’ve been running now for about 8ish years (with some time off here and there). There have been times where I have tried to leave the sport for good, but it always seems to call me back. If you are a runner, I’m sure you more than understand this. Running has given me a lot. I’d hope so considering all the work it takes. Here are some lessons learned from running that apply directly to life.
1. Together is Better
You can do it alone. But it’s a heck of a lot better if you are doing it with someone else. This is just like life. Friends, family, significant others, co-workers. They all have great influence in your life to encourage you to reach your goals, work hard, and celebrate your accomplishments with you.
2. Easy Days Are Necessary
It’s easy to get eager to train and want to work hard on every run you do. But by doing this you can set yourself up for overtraining and ultimately injury. No one wants that! Easy days are recovery are vital for runners to allow their body to recover from the hard work they put in during workouts. The same goes for life! We all work hard to get to work, to study, to go to class, to do this, to do that. Sometimes we just need to STOP, listen to our bodies, and take a breather now and again.
3. Things Can Be Disappointing
No matter how hard you train in running, you still can come up short in races. It happens. We have our bad days and the race doesn’t always reflect the training put in. Like in life, sometimes we fall short. But that’s just ONE race. There are so many more ahead and we just keep training and racing and eventually that PR will come (or that promotion or A or whatever it is you are aiming for).
4. Collaboration is Key
This kind of goes with 1, but this is super important. Working together is SO important. Running is often seen as an individual sport, but working together in workouts and races with a little bit of competition to keep you motivated is really similar to life if you think about it.
5. Things Are Not Fair
Sometimes, like life, running is just not fair. You do everything right, by running regularly, strength training, eating healthy, stretching, but you get injured because you worked too much, or you ran poorly because the weather was just not right. But that is OK. Life doesn’t always work out how we want it. But I believe that it’s because there is a better plan than we can see.
6. You Have to Do All the Little Things
In running, it’s more than just running. You have to strength train, stretch, eat healthy, ice bath, cross-train, etc. If you ignore weak muscles or train improperly, chances are you will get injured and/or not improve. In life you also have to do all the little things to reach your goals. If you don’t, something will fall short and it might take you longer if you get there at all.
7. Self-Care is Important
For running you need proper rest and nutrition in addition to your training. It’s important to get these or you won’t perform well. Well, did you know that the same goes for an exam or presentation or just daily work. The better you take care of yourself, the better you will perform in your daily life.
8. Always Love What You Do
With anything in life, if you don’t love it 75% of the time… then it’s not worth it. If you hate running, try a different sport. If you hate your job, find something you LOVE. There will be aspects you don’t love (puking after a race is never fun…), BUT overall, you should love what you do.
I think running has set me up for a successful life and career and many lessons have been learned from running.
What has running/sports taught you?