As Chile welcomes the summer season (unlike other countries with the beginning of the winter season), there is an activity carried out almost every weekend.
That’s short distance running race (1km, 5km, 10km, 15km, etc.).
Generally speaking I like almost every sport that I know. But even though running is a fundamental part of sports, that’s not my favorite, since there is no much change (I get bored), which tires me more. However, it seems running a race can be a good physical and mental training for 5 reasons.
Last Sunday, I ran 15km, the longest distance that I’d run in my life.
I decided to do so because it was a “Run with Inclusion (Corrida de Inclusión) in order to run with people with disability. There were 3 options (1km, 5km, y 15km) and I chose 15km.
I think for those who are used to running regularly, 15km is nothing, but it was quite a challenge for me. Assuming that some people with physical disabilities would run 15km, I also wanted to give it a try.
Given that it was my first trial, I decided to train myself for 2 weeks: I started with 2km and every 2 days, I added 2 more km (2km, 4km, 8km, 10km, 12km, 14km, and on the day of race, 15km).
On the day of race, although it was pretty hard for me to finish, I was not that tired. On the other hand, I think I learned something important, but at that moment I was not sure what that was. So I wanted to try again.
That’s why I ran another race today (10km), and I figured out what I learned (and what I will learn).
In short, running a race with others (not training by yourself) is like a life on a smaller scale, and I think it can be useful for the following 5 reasons and lessons for the life.
1. You have to train yourself in order to run longer distance
The longer the distance is, the more you have to train yourself, and the more you get satisfied when you finish. But at the same time you have to think realistically the time left for the training. (e.g., you can’t prepare all of sudden for a full marathon in 2 weeks).
Every time you have to put more difficult goal, but in a realistic way, and make a full effort for that.
2. You have to take into account that the most difficult point is the middle of the race
Suppose you will run 10km. I think there are 3 different parts and difficulties:
(a) 0-3km is the easiest because you are not tired yet.
(b) 3-7km is the most difficult since you are tired, and you know there is more to go.
(c) 7-10km is not that difficult since you know that there is not much left, and you can run much faster with the rest of your energy and adrenalin.
What’s important is to focus on the middle (b) since that’s the core part of the race.
3. You have to consider that there is up and down, water supply point and unexpected help
If there is upward on the street, there will be downward.
Every certain point, there usually is water supply point. Besides, all of sudden, some people on the street will cheer you up by saying “Let’s go! You can do it!”.
If there happens a bad thing, there comes a good thing later, and sometimes there are unexpected helps, with which you can advance more.
4. It’s a good training to stop comparing yourself with others
This is the point that I would like to emphasize most.
I think generally I don’t compare myself with others and try to go my own way without caring what others think or say. But still, I sometimes compare with others, which I want to stop doing because I live my life, not others’.
In this sense, I think running a race with others works for me for the training, since every time someone passes me, I feel a bit pressured unconsciously to follow, for which I lose my own pace. But the most important thing is to restrain that desire and maintain my own rhythm and mentality.
No matter how many people pass you, it’s imperative to maintain your rhythm of the race (life). So running with others can be very good training.
5. If there is a start, there is a goal. If you pass the goal, that’s a beginning of another race.
From the moment of the starting, you get closer to the goal. But once you pass the goal line, it means that you have to look at another goal (another race, which can be taken place in the following weekend in Santiago, Chile).
Just like a life, there is no end. instead there exists numerous series of start and goal lines. If you finish something you started (on learning, work, etc.), you have to find another goal immediately.
At least, as long as I keep running, running race can remind me of those 5 things, which is a good training for me, and I hope for others.