In the past 20 months of running, if I have learned anything, it is that there is one big key to being a happy runner: don’t compare yourself to others.
No matter what, there will be someone faster than you, someone who is able to run longer distances than you, someone who runs in more races than you. You can work your rear end off trying to catch up to them and never succeed in that goal. And if you don’t have success, how much are you really enjoying running?
It is such a joy-stealer to regularly and routinely compare yourself to someone else. Someone who has a different body type, different goals, different training plans and different resources. You usually can’t measure up. And if you do ‘catch them’, a funny thing happens – you immediately start comparing yourself to someone else. You will never get there. You will always be chasing others, never realizing the awesomeness of your own accomplishments.
I don’t mean to say that comparisons aren’t a good thing, but in all honesty, I’ve found it much more productive to compare me to me. Yes, that’s right. I am in competition with myself. I try to be a better version of myself with every run, and I know that the smarter I train, the better runner I will be. But even if I fall backwards a bit – whether it is from taking a break from running or due to an injury – I start the comparisons again at a REASONABLE spot. You know, like where I was when I started running. And I know where I can get and how long it will take me to get there. I can use that as my road map to gauge my successes.
And while I will never be the fastest runner, the longest distance runner or the most well travelled runner, I can be the best Robyn runner possible! And I look forward to the many, many times I will be that person in my running ‘career.’
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