I have been running for a couple of years and have stumbled across this question a lot. I have seen so many answers, from the really useful to the downright silly.
The useful stuff normally falls into a few categories....
- Training and racing
- Best bit of kit to sacrifice when "caught short" on an long run (....remember buffs are expensive, do you really need two socks?)
The discussions on shoes, bags, bottles, food and the like are endless and I don't really feel like I have much to add that hasn't already been said a million times.....today.
It did get me thinking though.
The advice that is given out seems to be mostly focused on things. The best shoes to shave another 0.005 seconds off of your personal best. The best bag to cram your wardrobe into on your next long run. Even the training advice seems to focus on things. The best timetable, best book, blog, video.....
Now don't get me wrong, everyone of these things can be amazing and can potentially completely change your running. The information that is available is mind boggling! But what if the thing you are missing isn't a thing? What if its deeper than that?
So what can I add if I`m not going to add a thing? Whats my best bit of running advice?
It is so simple I almost feel silly sharing it. Its the most powerful thing I have in my running arsenal that isn't really anything at all. It has helped me finish some really tough runs and never, ever fails to work. I have used it to conquer the sticky mud, the howling wind, the driving rain and the scorching sun. It cost me nothing, weighs nothing and is so easy to use its ridiculous.
So are you ready? Drum roll please......
When everything hurts, when its cold and you're tired, smile.
For a brief moment nothing seems so bad. The pain fades just long enough to keep going. The situation that could have made you quit a minute a go is now just a funny story to tell when you get home.
I'm not going to claim to know the science behind it, only that it works.
So there we have it. Yeah maybe its not that mind blowing but after thinking about it for a while its the best I have. Humour and positivity.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on with your new piece of running kit.
Train hard, run relaxed and don`t forget to smile! :D
Thanks for reading