Most people don’t get runners. Why do they like running so much? Who in their right mind would put themselves through such torture. Ask any runner and they’ll tell you that running is more than just that. Like any sport, running brings many valuable life lessons. Our founder shares some of her insights after she ran her first full marathon in 2012:
Expect the unexpected.
When I was running the Run4Kids at Melbourne, the number of hills they incorporated into the route were insane. After my second hill, I thought “This is it, it’s going to easy from now on, just hang in there” but of course, there was another hill before the finish line and that’s how life is, isn’t it. We always tell ourselves “After I get this promotion, I’ll be happy. After I’m rich, I’ll be happy. After this hurdle, life will be smooth sailing.”
So, running reminds me to expect the unexpected because if we run our lives thinking that the challenge we’re going through will be the last hill, we’ll be greatly disappointed and discouraged when we encounter another hill after that.
Divide and conquer
The age-old truth that also applies here. With monsoon season and long working hours, I’m sometimes left with running at the gym as the sole training option, which can be a pain because running on a treadmill is as exciting as staying home on a friday night. Just the thought of having to complete 10km on the treadmill is daunting.
So what I did was “divide” the 10km into 200m fast and slow intervals, tricking my mind into thinking that I only have to run 200m and that I’m allowed to rest with a slow interval. That also distracted me from the fact that I have to finish 10km. One would think that by doing so, I would run slower as compared to if maintaining my speed throughout the entire 10km. I actually ended up with a better timing.This leads to the next lesson:- Pace yourself.
Even 2012 Olympian Niger’s Djibo Issaka reflected: “I have no technique, I only have strength.” after he finished last at a qualifying round for rowing, although it was commendable that he had the courage to finish it despite a huge distance between him and his nearest rival.