Day #23: Patience


One of the greatest virtues of the running streak is how it teaches the runner patience. Many of us will want to dart out the door and crush the miles on those days when our legs are just feeling fabulous. The streak teaches, though, that we most hold back and hold back – always knowing that the success of today’s run depends upon the ability to run tomorrow.

Even those not involved in a crazy running streak know this – or come to learn it. Coaches are continually figuring how to get the most out of their runners without ‘breaking’ them. And, I am reminded, the breaking is not limited to a physical inability to run the next day; the psychological side can play even larger. When one day we bang out 10 miles at race pace, we not only risk a debilitating injury, but we may also traipse along the edge of burnout.

The streak-runner avoids each — and thus exercises patience. For her, the larger goal defines the real success of the day’s run.

So, next time you are out there on the roads – singing with blissful ease as you tap out your run in light footfalls – consider holding back just a bit. By being patient in this way, you will bank a resilience to go the long haul – to complete the course, which is much more than this day’s run.

As I continually remind those I coach: “It’s how you finish that counts.”

Get out there today – and run like there is a tomorrow!

~Coach Reed

photo credit: Patrick Reed