A couple weeks ago a client of mine who is rockstarring her way into the world of running,(seriously in one year she went from training for a 5k running at 11-12min/mile to training for a 1/2 marathon at 10ish pace!!) asked me why I run. That question is hard to answer. The reasons I run have evolved from when I first started.
What got me into running was pole vault. I was constantly being told I was too fat, too short, and too slow for polevault. The one thing I was, was too stubborn to listen. Running became my way to get my weight lower during the off season so I could be the lightest and quickest possible to start my track season. I had half the equation right, running did make me lighter. I always gained 5-10lbs during my track season. Part was muscle, but the other part I’m sure was from not having the same caloric burn, but same eating habits.
Each season I entered as light as possible, however, if I knew what I know now about periodic training, I would have subbed a sprint workout for every longer run I did to help build more fast twitch fibers. That being said, it was my entry into the world of running.
Pole vaulting fed perfectly into my competitive spirit. The joy I had vaulting over a PR is
nothing that can be described, but it can somewhat be shared. After every PR once I realized it had actually happened I would turn to my coach (and mom and dad of course who were at every big meet, but they are required to love me…) who was similarly sharing that same joy. He put in all the training hours with me. He shared with me the doubt all the other coaches had as to my heights, but always chose to ignore their logic; believing in me to beat their athletes! It was a satisfaction we both shared every time I won a meet all the other coaches thought I shouldn’t or couldn’t!
The love of a sport has to first come from within. There has to be an intrinsic motivation to do what you do. With any training period, however, one needs a coach. Someone who is there as accountability to depend on you to be there for the workout and preform when the time comes. To all my current and future BEHS Pole vaulters out there, Robert is constantly sharing all the potential there is for my record to go down. I challenge you to prove to him and I that he is right. Trust him, he knows what he’s doing and if he can get me over 11’3” imagine what he could do with natural potential 😉
Kara Goucher writes about a good coach, “An effective coach will understand no one can know your body and your responses to training better than you. A coach who is willing to learn from you is a coach who will be better about adjusting your training to meet your changing needs, reactions, and goals.” Someone who knows and understands all these aspects is as committed to your success as you are.
I no longer pole vault, but I am able to embrace my competitive spirit through running. The same joy of accomplishment is there every time I beat a runner I didn’t expect to or I when I hit a pr. Distance training as you all know is a long, tiresome road. I have a huge reservoir of intrinsic motivation to keep me going, but every now and then it begins to run on empty. That is when I look to you my runners. You are my coaches. I need to perform because you all believe I can and celebrate my successes with me. Thank you as always for my motivation to keep running and to keep improving! 🙂
So to answer the question the 2 reasons I run now are
1. To fulfill my desire for competition and to push myself to be better.
2. To meet the expectations of my coaches, you my runners!
So pick a coach, but run for you. Go out there and prove people wrong. Only you and your coach know what you can do! 🙂