10 Things You Learn When You Run
By Aditi Bhat
Running helps you achieve a level of physical fitness and mental toughness, which is difficult to achieve otherwise. However, these are not the only benefits of running. It can also teach you some truly valuable and unexpected life lessons, especially if you run a marathon. Though the learnings might be different for different people, here are ten things that you learn when you run, which can be applied to various other aspects of your life as well:
1) Setting realistic goals improves performance:
Setting goals is proven to increase your success rate. While you train for a run, you realise your true capability and learn to set realistic goals. Your goals can range from increasing the distance or finishing the run in a shorter time. The ability to set realistic goals for yourself is the first step towards self-improvement. The same goes for your learning schedule. Set a realistic study goal and stick to a strategy.
2) Training matters:
Runners spend months training physically and mentally. It is constant training that helps them ace the race on the final day. It is vital to invest abundant time and energy towards your goal.
3) Physical fitness is nothing without mental fortitude:
As clichéd as this sounds, you cannot get ahead in life without believing in yourself. No matter how hard one trains, the results will not reflect until they put their heart and soul into it. If your will power is weak, physical fitness will only take you so far.
4) Groups or teams are a great motivation:
Running regularly in a group can be encouraging for several reasons. You can become a better runner by even observing other runners around you. While running alone can bring peace of mind, the perks of having a group to run alongside are unmatched too.
5) A race has its own challenges:
There will be injuries, moments of lethargy or simply a feeling of giving up. Every challenge is a test to see whether you can complete the race/marathon. Much like life, when you fall, get back up and cross the finish line. It is the ability to gauge challenges and overcome them that determine your success in life.
6) Patience pays off:
This is a valuable trait for every runner and learner. You may want to bolt as soon as the race starts, but it will end up consuming most of your energy. Same goes for learners who may excitedly begin a course, but may lose focus midway due to lack of strategy or due to over-burdening themselves. Smart runners and learners understand the value of patience by finding their rhythm first and then steadily pacing ahead.
7) Learning from mistakes:
Even the most seasoned runners sometimes make mistakes. Be it misgauging their stamina or the nature of the course, mistakes are not new. However, the best lessons are learnt from mistakes. In fact, failures should be embraced as they serve as opportunities for growth.
8) Awareness of your capabilities:
Once you start running or training, you will begin to understand the difference between pushing hard and pushing too hard. Performing within those limits sets a smooth course into action. For instance, when you start off as a runner, you should set shorter distance goals and gradually increase it to full marathons and maybe even ultra-marathons. Same goes for learning – be aware of your capabilities and set goals accordingly.
9) Recovery is as important as training:
For the body to recharge, it is vital to take some time off. Rest, recover and refuel. This will enable the training to be consistent and effective. Not spacing out training periods correctly can lead to major burnout and aversion towards running itself.
10) The only competition is yourself:
You must strive to improve your overall performance with each day of training. Analyse and prioritize what works best for you. A healthy competition with oneself is the definitive way forward. Beating your own record will give you a sense of achievement!
Remember these ten points as the city is gearing up for the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon (BMM). The BMM represents a vision of vibrancy, enthusiasm, self-reflection and improvement; a vision shared by its primary sponsor, Manipal ProLearn. The runners are the embodiment of this proud vision.