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Running lessons from 100K

2 min

I ran over 100K in August of 2020.

This is by far the most I have run in my whole life. I did not think this was possible. Each day I showed up. Whether I ran 6 miles or just walked, regardless, I showed up. I now see how it overflows into other areas of my life as well.

I would like to share some lessons that I have learned over the past month.

Breathe through your nose. I used to feel like a dog panting when I breathed through my mouth. Growing up as a swimmer, I thought this was the only option. Nasal breathing keeps our body balanced as opposed to mouth breathing. Sleep expert James Nestor explains how the nose filters, heats and treats raw air. It can trigger different hormones to flood into our bodies. It lowers blood pressure, monitors heart rate, and helps store memories.

Start off slower. End feeling stronger. Being a sprinter, I always thought I needed to start my fastest at the beginning. That the momentum would carry me. False. It takes time for the body to adjust to running. The tank of energy immediately gets depleted. If I don’t start out easy, I can’t progress to feeling stronger.

Focus on effort and stride instead of distance or pace. The numbers are trackable. The feelings are what allow you to show up again. It is mostly a mind game.

Talk to Siri. She can skip the song for you. The risk of looking at your phone and rolling your ankle isn’t necessary.

Stop stomping. Become mindful of where your foot hits the floor. Imagine being like a ballerina, so you can feel lighter on your feet.

Always stretch. Even if it is only for a few minutes, it still counts. Focus on where you think it’s necessary.

Ice. Being worried about shin splints is scary. Take control of what you can control. Keep the momentum going by proactively icing any inflammation. Frozen broccoli and mangoes will suffice.

Make a clear intention. Is it a fast run? Tempo slower run? Long run? Just a run? Set this at the start so you know how to visualize the motions before starting.

The incremental improvement of showing every morning has created courage for me. It has given me the resilience to continue moving through the uncertainty. The great feeling benefits have overflowed to every other area of my life.



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