How do you define success for yourself as a runner?
Whatever success looks like for you, there are plenty of obstacles that are likely to get in your way at various points along your path.
Injury. Time management. Life in general.
But the biggest obstacle you’re likely to encounter along the way?
5 Ways You May Be Getting In Your Own Way
Apologies in advance if this post hits a little close to home.
None of us want to think of ourselves as self-saboteurs.
At least, I don’t think any of us do.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
If you find yourself guilty of any of the following, hopefully, a few tweaks will enable you to get out of your own way.
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My aunt always used to tell me that patience was a virtue.
She wasn’t wrong.
The problem is that patience doesn’t come easy for most of us.
We want what we want, and we want it now!
Sadly, that’s now how it works for us as runners.
Growth in our sport takes time, often lots of time.
Trying to speed things up? Looking for a “hack” or a corner to cut?
Odds are you’re only going to make this whole process take even longer.
Playing the Comparison Game
Comparing yourself to other runners is a rather pointless endeavor.
Sadly, it can be hard not to avoid playing the comparison game at times.
You don’t have to look very hard to find other runners who have outperformed you in some form or fashion.
Races. Miles. Pace. Travel. Streaking. Followers. Whatever.
When you’re less than in virtually every category, it makes it pretty easy to get down on yourself.
And you don’t need me to tell you that beating yourself up for not being “good enough” doesn’t do you any good at all.
You’re Lying to Yourself
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty damn good at convincing myself of things that may not be true.
I’ve been known to tell myself I foam rolled when all I really did was sit on the floor with my calves resting on the roller.
Or I tell myself that I got a good speed session in when I know, deep down, that I could have pushed a lot harder.
If that sounds familiar, stop lying to yourself.
Telling yourself that you’re doing all of the things when you know you’re not means you’re hamstringing your progress.
It’s one thing to go through the motions and lie to yourself about the effort you’re putting in.
Straight-up neglecting to do what you know needs to be done is a whole different hurdle that may be in your path.
Strength training. Sleep. Recovery. Mobility. Cross training.
Doing the little things makes a difference.
Failing to do them?
That makes a difference, too.
Lack of Ambition
Sometimes the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals comes from somewhere deep within.
An unwillingness to put yourself out there. To do the work. To even try.
At the risk of being harsh, hike up your big boy/girl panties and do the damn thing!
Sign up for the race. Hire the coach. Commit to that which you’re hesitant to commit to and see what happens.
Will it be a dumpster fire?
But you might blow yourself away with what you’re capable of doing, too.
The Struggle is Real
Honestly, I have seen these obstacles bubble up in the paths of some of the runners I’ve coached over the years.
I’ve also struggled with each of them myself.
If one or two of these hits home for you?
Don’t take it personally or beat yourself up for getting in your own way.
I’m pretty sure that making our own lives more difficult is something of a human condition.
So congratulations, you’re human.
Hopefully, now that you’re a little more aware of how you might be self-sabotaging your running, you can start to make some changes in order to get out of your own way.
That’s my plan, at least.
How Do You Make Sure to Stay Out of Your Own Way on Your Path to Success?
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