Running is all relative. There is always someone faster. I was just talking with a lady last night and she said to me multiple times, “There’s no way I can keep up with you guys.” And all I said to that is, “You don’t have to – it is you vs you.” A great way to get better, however, is to run with faster people. It gives you positive reinforcement that you are on the right track and it also teaches you more about running and yourself than if you only run with people your own pace.
There is always someone faster….
I don’t personally know any world record holders, so I can safely say that everyone I know is generally slower than someone else. People come up to me and say – wow – you ran a 5:33 mile at a race last week – that’s fast. I saw the winning lady finish about 20 seconds in front of me and the overall winner of the race ran 4:39, almost a minute faster. He in turn would be blown away by the NJ high school state champion high school runner, who won his race this spring in about 4:10. People who break the 4 minute mile look at the world champion racers on TV, who routinely break 3:50. And the world record of 3:43.13? That IS FAST!
Why this example, especially if you are just starting out or are a novice runner? Faster people can help you get faster. Surround yourself with experience – people who know about your sport and can teach you about it. This will make you a better – and smarter – runner. How can faster runners help you when you are always behind? That’s actually kind of demoralizing, always finishing in the back, if you run with them every day.
Faster runners need to run slow to recover. On these days, find people that are better than you and run with them. On their speed workouts, just sit back and learn. But the more you run with them, eventually (barring injury), you will get faster. I’m never going to promise world records, but can you beat yourself – YES!
Just like surrounding yourself with better runners helps you become a better runner, so it goes with life. Surround yourself with positive people – people who are here to help build you up, to teach you, to help you – not tear you down. These can be colleagues at work, friends, family members – anyone who is a great role model. And this works!
This Sunday I am running with a pack of very fast runners. Can I stay with them the whole workout? Maybe not – but I won’t find out about myself in any other way unless I put some challenges in the way…. Now it’s your turn!
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