FAITH OF A RUNNER
I always believe that growth is a continuous process and it always happens with the passage of time . It is not possible to notice the growth in oneself each and everyday although the process in oneself is going on . But after a certain period of time it start appearing and may be noticed by all ; that the growth of a runner is interlinked with the growth as a person and it supports extensively the overall growth in oneself . One of the major issues that need to be addressed is
what is growth ?
Is it improvement in timing only ?
Is it the feeling of a runner ?
Timing is a relative term . Any timing has a relative figure to compare with and that timing will be good at one parameter and bad on another parameter but a feeling is an absolute term . What you feel after the run is only measurement to gauze your improvement as a runner . If after doing 5 kms in 20 minutes time you are gasping and breathless . You are not able to concentrate on your professional life and on that day and you are irritated with your spouse or kids ,then I don’t think it is a good training and a good run . Being a recreational runner the running should support your personal and professional life and not create an issue in that . In place of 20 minutes if you ran 5 kms. in 22 /23 minutes and are looking strong after that and have the energy in your office , you are not irritated throughout the day and you have a pleasant state of mind ;then I think 22/23 minutes is a better timing than 20 minutes .The timing need to be improved . Your ambition of fast running has to be fulfilled but it should not overpower your mind .You need to give a longer period of time enjoying every day training ,treating running as a support of your life .
The improvement in oneself is a process . It is like the shaping of a river . The journey of the river starts from the glaciers and mountains incorporating all minerals and content of the path by which they are passing and they become the Ganga , Godavari or Kaveri .Running is like that .It is incorporating each moment of the run. Everyday is a new day .Each and every experience is a new one and an opportunity to learn and understand life.
It is a process to accept the challenges every day ,either in long distance endurance run or explosive and having a lot variety of speed run . The reality is that the speed training have more setbacks than victories . But it makes you not only a strong runner but a strong human being too . Life throws challenges but those challenges may have the flexibility and extensiveness of time to address .However ,the speed training challenges do not give the time to address it . The solution they want then and there . Confronting the challenges is initially tough but it leads you to some of the great treasure of the improvement process . The second important aspect of speed training is that you can’t take the help of others . You have to decide by yourself only . Your decision needs to be fast and in a reflex . The decision may be right or wrong but you are becoming a fast decision maker .There is an extreme symmetry needed between mind and body and mind has to control the body . The moment the mind fails to control the body the speed is going to fall and speed training may be like a endurance training .
The person who does more speed training is sharpening his skill to take decisions. We may not able to notice it but if you look back your speed training sessions then you may find that so many times you have taken the decision in a state of fatigue and a puzzled mind . It is not a decision taken in an ac room chatting with colleagues having the best opinion possible on the subject . If you think deeply about your decisions taken then you may find that you may have more strength inside you than you thought . You may also notice and acknowledge that the decisions taken in your professional life has a lot to do with your speed training and your whole decision making acumen has improved substantially due to your consistent speed training and you became a fast decision maker .
The long runs are not giving you much opportunity to take decisions because it is a structured consistent pace and a meditative long distance journey with an intention to just pass time on the legs.
However, it does not mean that endurance running is not giving you a chance to improve . It gives . It gives many. It prepares you for the long drawn battle of life . It sharpens your patience . It test your pain threshold and reaction to adverse circumstances . No one can improve in life without addressing the adverse circumstances .The long runs always break you in between the run and you tend to abort it or take some rest. But most of the times you are able to control it and finish the long run strongly .
While running the comrade run I had experienced it so many times. But the practiced long runs were undertaken by me. i built up the stamina to run and I found that it was momentary . It comes and goes fast . One needs to control the mind at those points of time . Increasing the speed at those pointa of time is one of the very good solution to get over that syndrome . If one is going downhill just after that then it is very helpful. however the most important factor is to control the nerve and look towards sky . I always tell myself, God was kind and God is kind . I don’t know what strength this word has but it has generally worked .
I read the autobiography of Ryan hall . He used to chant the verses of the Bible while running his races .While reading the autobiography ,I wondered why he used to chant the verses of the Bible in a full race but slowly I understood that it is a process to strengthen the mind and divert it from the acute pain of racing especially the later half of the race . It evolves you in a different way.
You start having the faith in yourself and God is nothing but your faith .
The most important transformation in oneself either as a as a runner or as a human being is having more faith in oneself and that is the beauty and gift of long distance running .