People today are generally taught to wallow in the wake of little injustices done to them, to look for excuses to under-perform, to assign blame for failures and for failure to try. This cultural mind-set has infected running.
We demand recognition for doing something we should be doing for its own sake, because it is natural and good. We demand recognition even if we train haphazardly and race half-heartedly. We strive not to be the best we can be but merely to be. That’s enough. We’ll get by doing as little as we can and then demand some recognition for it.
And in the process we cheat ourselves. We never move far enough ahead in our training to hit that overdrive gear in our running, where the reality of a hard asphalt surface beneath our feet is negated, and we are floating, running strong and free like the human animal whose divine design infuses all of us. A result of our under-striving is that we never earn admission to that special place in our running where the joy of effortless movement resides.
- Richard Benyo -
Marathon & Beyond Magazine
The nice thing about running is that the runner is always there, patiently waiting to be released. There isn't a predetermined starting date or a firm expiration date.
One of the easiest ways to release the athletic beast inside and to keep it loose is to set running goals, both short term and long term. It’s fine on occasion to just run around for the sake of basic movement, but to loosen the athlete, goals are necessary, both as a motivational factor (to get you out the door on days you’d rather not go) and as a testing factor (testing just how good you can be with a requisite amount of training).
Setting goals is a process that runs parallel with the personalities of most people who get involved in running, and it is a way of laying out yardsticks end-to-end toward reaching a long-term goal. You may start with modest goals and grow from there. You may be surprised at how motivating reaching goals can be. Set a short-term goal and achieve it, and you will be doubly motivated to strive for the intermediate goal, and from there to the long-term goal.
- Richard Benyo -
Timeless Running Wisdom