Be per­sis­tent and con­sis­tent

Runner's World (UK) - - Running Wisdom -

Tol­stoy said, ‘The two most pow­er­ful war­riors are pa­tience and time.’ Re­gard­less of our knowl­edge of Rus­sian lit­er­a­ture, we dis­tance run­ners un­der­stand this bet­ter than most. But even we can be lulled into for­get­ting th­ese words of wis­dom when our lives get busy and our goals feel dis­tant or even, per­haps, unattain­able.

There is no doubt that year-in and year-out con­sis­tency can make all the dif­fer­ence in the world when it comes to get­ting a big jump in your run­ning per­for­mance. ‘Dis­tance run­ning takes pa­tience,’ says Colorado State Uni­ver­sity cross-coun­try coach Art Siemers. ‘My main fo­cus is find­ing ath­letes with the de­sire, com­mit­ment and pa­tience to slowly build an aer­o­bic base, aim­ing to­ward a big break­through once the body adapts to the stress of higher mileage. This can be a chal­lenge in the age of in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, but those ath­letes who pos­sess pa­tience and a strong work ethic usu­ally suc­ceed.’

This same type of pa­tience, al­lied with its trusty com­rade in arms – time – can lead to great vic­to­ries for run­ners at ev­ery level. There will be times when it’s hard to keep putting in the tough miles of train­ing and when it seems like you’ve plateaued. If you’re bat­tling doubts and de­mo­ti­va­tion, sim­ply re­mind your­self that stay­ing con­sis­tent cre­ates the changes that will lead even­tu­ally and in­evitably to new lev­els of per­for­mance down the road. In other words, keep the faith.

CHANGE THIS Make run­ning a de­fault part of your life: ev­ery day, week, month and year.

WHY Big leaps in your run­ning per­for­mance can only be achieved by trans­form­ing your body, and those cru­cial trans­for­ma­tions will only oc­cur over time.

THE CHAL­LENGE It can be hard to mea­sure the progress made in a sin­gle day and all too easy to con­vince your­self that it doesn’t make a dif­fer­ence. It’s also eas­ier to ne­go­ti­ate the time and to find the willpower for a hard, short-term push than to adopt a long-term life­style change.

THE RISK A fool­ish con­sis­tency that ig­nores your body’s sig­nals can cause you to run while in­jured or get in the way of re­cov­ery.

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