“I am going to be ok until 6km and then I will feel like I can’t do it, I will think I am useless and I will want to stop.” These were the words of my client as she explained to me how she saw her run panning out. We were standing on the start line of the chilly 10km last weekend.
True to form we ran to pace and with relative ease for the first 5km. It was around this point that the racing snakes began to lap us. On a three lap course, that is bound to happen. They ran past with speed, no denying that. But they were NOT all slim, young and running with classic perfect running form. Indeed, of the top 5, 3 were over 50, 2 were ‘stocky’ and the best word to describe at least one of their running style was ungainly!
First myth busted right there. There is no classic runner, yes certain body types might be preferable as the less mass you have to carry over the ground, the less stress on your body, and the quicker you will be. But this not a prerequisite to running fast.
As these guys and gals smoked past Liz* said to me “they find it so easy, I am so crap” the assumption is that because they are quick, it is easy and not painful.
Let me bust the second Myth. Every runner who is trying to hit their PB, or win, WILL be enduring pain! Fast competent runners feel the burn, they hurt possibly from even earlier in the race than recreational runners. They know they need to suck up the pain from the off. The amount of pain you feel is not a measure of how bad you are!
We all enter events for very different outcomes. Some run to win, others to get a PB, run with friends, run for charity, or to complete. All reasons are as valid as each other. Not all of them need you to dig deep and get to a point where you are fighting against your muscles which are screaming at you to stop.
But if you do find yourself in that position, know that you are not alone. You are no less a runner or less able because you hurt! Its what you do with that hurt that makes the difference.