We introduced our Role Mothers in this post and this post and we revealed their running essentials recently. Now, they're offering up their best advice to keep you logging miles both physically and mentally. So next time you're having a hard time lacing up or want to turn around and head home early, think of these words of encouragement to get you across that personal finish line.
Nicole, regular runner:
The best piece of running advice I’ve received came from my husband, Scott, and actually had nothing to do with running. Whenever I feel myself getting anxious or tangled up in my own head about an important meeting or interview or speech I need to give, my husband says, all calm and even: “Let you be you.” It means, relax, get out of my own way and let my authentic self press through. Over the years, I’ve added the word “breathe” to the private mantra, so it’s now: Breathe, and let you be you. For running that translates to doing my own thing, staying focused that, and not getting distracted by someone else's pace or race Because I can’t be them; I can only be me.
Pam, the grandmother:
A 12-minute mile is the same distance as a 6-minute mile. It's okay to slow down or walk if you body is telling you to.
Ashley, the beginner:
Run for YOU. It is YOUR race, YOUR training, and most importantly YOUR pace. This was my biggest mistake when I first started running. I was so stuck on running a 10-minute mile. The treadmill was my biggest enemy and just the thought of trying to run at that pace made me want to cry, but I attempted to and I was miserable. The second I "slowed my role," I suddenly felt the opposite of what I thought I would. I felt like a BAMR. I felt like I was unstoppable, and it was a change I made for myself. With time, came endurance, and with endurance, came a decrease in my time.
Tania, the sputterer:
Don't compare yourself to others. It's your race and your pace. Make your own goals, and don't worry about what others are doing. You are awesome, and don't forget that.
Melissa, the marathoner:
On my first official long run, while training for my very first marathon over a decade ago, it hit me. Both a piece of smart running advice and sage life advice, the simple statement, “Your mind will give out way before you body does” suddenly made total sense, as I struggled to squeak out my first ever run over 10 miles. I knew my body could do it, but my brain thought otherwise. Ever since then, my mind has continued to wage a battle of wits with my legs. “Just walk.” it says. “You can stop now. It’s OK.” it whispers. “You’re not gonna make it,” it teases. “That’s long enough for today,” it tempts. But now I know better. I know not to listen to the negative self- talk, which is often harder to push out of the corners of my brain than pushing a double jogging stroller uphill. I also know that mental toughness and mind training is just as important as intervals and tempo runs. Flexing the positive self talk muscle between your ears is a total must, especially when tackling long runs. Even after 10 marathons, I still struggle with the lively, defeating, and often ridiculous conversations going on in my brain from about mile 18 to mile 26. But I also know and can process what is happening; my mind may be giving out, but my body doesn’t need to follow.
How about you: What's the best running advice you've ever gotten--or figured out yourself?