Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Running Mindset...

By Frank

I'm not a fast runner. Even though I am faster now since the day I first started running slightly more than 2 years back, I still do not regard myself as one. Personally, being an effective runner is more important than being a fast one. Well, maybe I'm not competitive or maybe shall I say that I run for a better tomorrow, towards a healthier lifestyle.

However, I do hope that the running pace of each individuals will not affect the mindsets of other runners especially the new ones from joining seasoned more experienced runners. With Malaysians awareness towards running, this is something the running society don't need. A couple of week back, I saw a promotional video for the upcoming Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009, where Malaysians were picked randomly to answer the distance of the marathon. Hilarious answers were given to a distance of even a 300KM! Not to mention a marathon world record of 30 minutes! This has certainly given the clearer picture of our local running scene.

Malaysian's knowledge on the marathon...

I remembered when I first met and ran with Choi, Daniel, Jamie and Geraldine some 2 years back when they intended to run 30KM. While all of them succeeded, I only ran a 10KM and had to walk back to the starting point as my knee gave up on me. Was I embarrassed about it? Frankly speaking, I wasn't and in fact I felt proud of myself of having the guts to join them even knowing I was a newbie at that time. I didn't even know who were they at that time too, except for Jamie as I have been a follower of his blog. Joining experienced runners like them exposed me to a world of advice, tips and many more stories that made me what I am today.

Each runner has their own running pace. Some are fast, while some others slower. My running mates are of no exception of course. However, I must admit that there are benefits from running with a group like this. We sometimes have to think from outside the box even when it comes to running. Think of it this way. Slower runners will benefit from the fast ones by telling themselves that they will want to be just as fast as their fellow friends. Take it as a motivational gesture. How about the fast runners then, you ask? And while running isn't all about going all out to run, training at each heart rate zone will produce different results. And running at a controlled comfortable pace will help in building endurance. Therefore, faster runners will benefit by running just a bit slower by accompanying friends. Therefore, it's a win-win situation for both fast and slow runners. Of course, there are more of it than what I just mentioned. In fact, the list is just long. We just have to be positive in taking up running and other sports as well too. Just don't be embarrassed by what you are incapable of. One day with discipline and persistence, you will be capable. Not a new saying, but remember, Rome isn't built in a day.

Besides running pace, gender is another factor. While females are generally the shyer gender, with the modern world now, there is no more a stronger side. GOD created both gender equally, with of course certain advantages and disadvantages to each. Though the Malaysian running society is greatly made up of male runners, more female runners are slowly appearing. And some are really strong ones too, strong enough to outrun the males. However sadly, the mindset game is playing its part again. Whether male or female, some are still too shy to approach the opposite gender. One important thing about running is all about friendship. However, if one is too shy to approach someone, they will feel lonely and will slowly leave the running scene.

I myself train with 2 regular female friends. Of course one has migrated to the land of kangaroos not too long ago. I do admit I was a little shy at first, but as time passes, our friendship grew stronger. Just like the running pace earlier, running with the opposite gender shares the same benefits too. Just share together the advantages and disadvantages GOD has given us, and in the end, all in all, we own self are the one who benefits from it. Therefore, open up and don't be shy.

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