I suppose all those taking part in competitive races are more than a little guilty of getting hung up on pace, training plans, PBs and speed. None of these should be the main reason why we (butterfly) lace up our shoes, pull up our shorts and head outside.
Most of us take up running to feel a sense of freedom from everyday life, while doing our bit to get fitter. Somewhere, along the road however, we get can get competitive and a duty to train kicks in. This isn’t necessarily a terrible quality but it can turn to overkill when we don’t listen to our bodies begging us for rest… when we don’t heed our physicians advising us to let an injury heal… when we get fed up with slogging it out.
If we’re honest, I think all regular runners can see times when the running blues have crept up and kicked them in the shins. Training becomes a chore. That’s when we should stop and take it all back to basics.
Winning races isn’t the be all and end all – particularly for the trail runner who needs to be mentally strong enough to survive the rigours in going off road, not seeing a soul for hours at a time.
Perhaps, we should all seek out that inner child, that big kid hidden inside of us all. Children run just because. They bound, leap, dart, dive, trip and tap their way over field and trail. They grin, and tag, and skip and hop. Running – moving – isn’t about the latest training kit, the fastest runner, the best shoe, getting in more hours of training… it’s about having a laugh and seeing where your legs can take you.
And in honour of this sentiment, I’d like a share a clip we made last winter in the desert, which sort of sums up where I’m coming from:
Quite clearly there’s a whole lot of child-like wonder in just running. Maybe, we should all take the time to mess around in our training.