Achieving your Running Potential

After the initial fitness boost― the one which typically occurs when the person makes the transition from couch potato to runner―too few runners continue to make any appreciable headway. The main reason, in my not-so-humble opinion, is our human tendency is to grow complacent. After participating in a marathon or two (something which used to happen only after a year or more of consistent running, but which today increasingly happens at the beginning stages) we think that we’ve somehow mastered the sport. The open-mindedness of the novice has been replaced with a “been-there-done-that” attitude, thus shutting out any constructive thoughts for future improvement.

With increasing numbers of potential runners participating in the marathon before they’ve put in the requisite time and training, many are failing to learn that it takes several years of consistent training to achieve the fitness level required to produce a runner’s best times. Akin to the latest dieting fads, false teachings and minimized training regimes (designed to get beginners to the marathon finish-line) are teaching folks to bypass the fundamentals and has them failing to develop the solid running foundation required for sustainability and improvement. After these novices complete the marathon distance, they often assume that their finishing times are more the product of a lack of ability than a lack of preparedness. As someone who remains passionate about this wonderful sport, I am frustrated at the numbers of runners who are being setup for a lifetime of mediocre efforts―efforts which are too often the result of their own limited thinking. Far too many are running at less than their best, because they’ve accepted limiting views that were programmed early on in their running careers.

Failure to build the proper running foundation, one which requires putting in the requisite time and training, has many adopting a running pace and effort far beneath their capabilities. They’ve accepted the flawed perspective that their marathon finishing times are the product of inherent physiological limitations, instead of thinking that maybe they are just ill-prepared or perhaps finishing a marathon too early in their running career. Early on, folks are finding their comfort zones and learning to stick within the boundaries. They’ve become trapped within their limiting views of self, relegated to a lesser position within the human pecking order, and are falling far short of their running potential. Tragically, many lose their fire before they’ve given themselves a chance to really get started.

I won’t apologize for failing to sugar-coat this message. You see, as far as I am concerned, most of our limitations are self-imposed. Like fad diets, running shortcuts designed to just get us to the marathon finish line have programmed people to accept less than their best. The quest to get the biggest bang for the least amount of effort results in only a few folks venturing outside of their comfort zones. My desire is for every runner to reach his potential. In order to accomplish this, folks have to stop accepting errant thinking. I want you to release your limiting thoughts, hit the reset button, and be open to the next several blogs. My goal is to inspire you, and help you take it to the next level.

In running,

Dennis Gravitt