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Monday, March 12, 2012

To Run or Not To Run...

This morning, I woke up early, ready to run... but I wasn't motivated to run.  My body was a little sore and I didn't want to push myself to run.  So I didn't.  There are times when I force myself to run, but there are also times when I listen to my body when it tells me it's needing to rest.  I just chilled in my room, played a little guitar, talked to friends on facebook, and had a quiet and enjoyable morning.  After making lunch, I thought about going out to run, but my body told me to hold on and wait just a minute before I committed to a long run, which was what I was planning on doing.  Running is good for you until you do too much of something.  When you want to get faster, you can practice, but it's just as important to rest as it is to exercise.  My joints knew that it needed a little more of a break between runs.  My original plan was to run about ten miles, but when afternoon came, I ran 8.67 miles in 1:16:13 (8:48 min/mile pace) because I wanted to take it easy.  Due to yesterday running a sub-8 min/mile average, my body became slightly accustomed to the pace and upped the pace.

It's interesting to know how the body works.  When you practice running fast, your muscles get used to that pace and eventually, when you don't exert yourself as much, your body automatically keeps the pace (which is why in practice, you would have strides, fartleks, tempo runs, and other workouts that would practice going at a faster pace).  Controlling your training can help you improve overall speed, not just in a short distance, but also in extended distances.

Long Distance Running... benefits individuals to an unimaginable degree.  It can strengthen the heart, lungs, and muscles, as well as the mind.  Although there are a lot of physical things that can grow through training for an endurance race, there are more benefits to the individual in a psychological way rather than physiological.  When you train your body to run long distances, you train your mind to not give up.  In long distance running, limits becomes barriers and barriers eventually are broken.  The race is not against other people, but against the individual him/herself.  Goals are set to be reached, and effort put into running is rewarded.  On short runs, your body tells you to slow down, but your mind is the master of the body, telling it to push forward faster.  On long runs, your run is a natural rhythm set by your body to enjoy and relax, soothing the mind and it becomes a way individuals can cast their worries away and run off and become free.  All individuals needs a certain amount of individual time, and long runs can provide that.  Long runs allows you to open your mind and forget about the present worries and instead look at the future of opportunities.

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