Friday, September 27, 2013
Running is Simple, But It Ain't Easy
Running is simple. You put on a pair of shoes (or not, for the barefooters among us). Then you put one foot in front of the other. Repeat. Over and over. Simple. Sure, you can buy fancy running attire, expensive technological gadgets, and drive to far-away locations to run...but really, you just need to go outside your front door and run. One foot forward, then the other. Start at a slow pace for a short distance. Slowly, you'll build up the miles and the pace. Consistency pays off--run more often and you'll get better. At the same effort, you'll be cruising along at a faster and faster pace. Miles will melt away. Don't push too hard or get greedy...that's a recipe for injury and failure. Take it easy, but be consistent. Keep running simple. You will be tempted to make running complicated. Don't! No need for crazy training regimes. No need to cram in tempo runs, track intervals, hill repeats, long runs, fartleks, and multiple races. If you want to improve, then run more often. Run faster some days, other days run slower. Just be consistent.
Running isn't easy. While I claim that running is simple, that doesn't make it easy. It's much easier to stay indoors, sit on the couch, and watch TV while eating chips and cookies. Much easier. But everything that's worthwhile and valuable comes with a price. Usually that means a time commitment and some discipline. Running isn't any different. You get out of it what you put into it. Simple, but not easy. You will sweat. You will feel aches and pains. You will feel tired. You will also feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride. That pride outweighs any of the negatives. You put in the effort and get back twice the reward. What a great sport! No teammates needed (although running partners help). No special equipment needed (although proper running shoes help). No special course, playing field, or stadium required (although a nice secluded trail is enjoyable). Running is you and you alone. No extras needed. Just you. That can be intimidating, but also refreshing. YOU get out of it what YOU put into it. Running is not fickle. You practice, you improve. You become fit. Lose weight. Become fleet of feet. A transformation occurs and you eventually see yourself as graceful. Smooth. Efficient. Lean. It's a great endeavor.
Anyway, let me conclude by reiterating that "Running is simple, but not easy." That's what makes running such a great sport or hobby. If you already run, then keep it up. If you don't run, give it a try. The investment will pay off.
PS: In case you didn't see the "major article" profiling me as a runner, feel free to browse this piece that came out yesterday: "Local Runner Looks to Reach Ultra-Marathon Goal" (see, running can even turn you into a local celebrity!).