When Running: Stay In Your Lane

September 18, 2012  |  

I recently learned a very important lesson during one of my runs – stay in my running lane. If you are somewhat new to the running lifestyle such as myself, then you are probably struggling to stay on your path.

I started running less than a year ago and although I am much better at it today than I was the day I joined Black Girls Run! Boston, I’m still not as good as I should be. I notice my improvement, but I still struggle with simple goals like running a certain distance or pace or up a hill without stopping.

A few days a week I run with a group of runners around a local park and often I say:

“Angela, make it around this park without stopping.”

During my last run I set out to make it around the park without stopping. I did not care how fast the better runners were going or how slow my running app said my pace was. Thirty-six minutes later I was back at the starting line and victory was mine.

I finally made it around – because I stayed in my lane. I found a pace and a rhythm that fit ME. No need to constantly set myself up for failure by trying to run a pace of 10 minutes per mile when the better pace for ME is 12 minutes per mile. I haven’t reached that 10 minutes pace yet and it’s going to take time and dedication for me to get there. The same goes for you.

Stay in your fitness lane as you start out. If you have recently become inspired by Usain Bolt and now want to add running to your repertoire, do not set your goal to beat his world record in the 100 meter on your first run. You are not there yet. Run the best 100 meters you can run and then from there make a goal to get closer and closer to becoming the next Bolt. Michael Phelps inspired you to swim for the first time? Don’t jump into an Olympic size pool set out to beat Phelps freestyle on your first trial. Swim YOUR best freestyle and then set goals to get faster and faster.

Now that I know what my running pace is, my goal to make it around the park without stopping seems more reachable. I know what to do to get to that finish line and it feels good. Set reasonable and realistic goals and you will be well on your way to being the fit mom you want to be.

Words By: Angela Childs
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