I was asked recently, “So what exactly makes a successful runner?”. I believe there are a number of different factors to consider before answering this questions. I find it very fascinating to talk to fellow runner, to find out the reason why they run. Here are few of the of the basic elements I believe make “A Successful Runner”
- Desire- The motivation you have within yourself that drives you. Why do you run? Is it the competition, beating your PB, to stay fit, to lose weight, to socialize, to clear your mind from work. There is always an answer to the question, Why? That is your desire.
- Staying Positive- All training runs aren’t meant to go well. Even the most elite runners have off days. A successful runner has to accept that with the good training days comes the bad. A successful runner must stay positive even on bad training days. The seed of doubt is very powerful. Once you allow that seed to enter your mind, it can completely take over your training and your race day.
- Ability- People believe that in order to be a runner one must be lean or even a little bit muscular, of medium height or a little taller, based on heart size and cardiac output with a high VO2 Max. However, in the last few years my perception of what makes a good runner in terms of Ability has changed, greatly. I believe that tall, short, lean, muscular, over weight, terminally ill, mental health issues, degenerative illnesses, Amputee. Every single human being has the ability to be a successful runner if the desire is truly there.
- Support- I know from personal experience the importance of having a supportive family and supportive friends. I’m sure if I surrounded myself by people who didn’t believe in me or questioned my abilities, my training and goals would suffer. I believe in surrounding myself with people who bring out the best in me, my “Circle of Influence”. They never bring me down, stop me from running or question why I’m doing yet another race. They fully support me, and my desire to be a runner.
- Direction- Sometimes a coach, a teacher or even a training plan is enough to help a runner moving in the right motion. For this example I will use the direction from a coach. Perhaps you enjoy running, don’t want to take on any long distances, but want to push yourself. A positive coach will look at your lifestyle, help you set goals, and work with your to achieve those goals. When choosing a coach ensure they are looking after your needs as a runner, and not the other way around. They have your best interests in mind. It is important that a coach is always there for you and treats you first as a person, then as a runner.