It’s that time of year again—school is back in session and the kids are busy learning. But just because your elementary school days are long behind you, it doesn’t mean you can’t still learn a thing or two. In fact, when it comes to your running it’s not a bad idea to act like a kid. As adults, we sometimes beat ourselves up after a bad run or force ourselves to stick to our training schedules when we really need a day off. But the kiddos get it right when they run, so here are a few lessons you should learn from them before you head out the door.
Kids believe they can do anything
The beauty of youth is that you haven’t lived long enough to know much of failure; to a kid, the possibilities are endless and there isn’t anything they can’t do. If you ask a kid how far and fast they can run, they’ll tell you, “A million miles in ten seconds!” and probably believe it. Next time you head out for your run, plan a longer one than usual and have the confidence that you can do it. You may not make it to the million mile mark, but believing you could get there will carry you far.
Kids get over failures and try again
When kids don’t succeed at something, they don’t beat themselves up. Sure, they may sulk, but then they try again. If they lose a race on the playground, you can bet they’ll immediately demand a rematch and give it their all. So the next time a race doesn’t go the way you wanted, don’t dwell on all the reasons you think you messed up; go home and sign up for the next one and plot your comeback.
Kids know when to stop
Kids have a lot of energy to burn and will run until their legs just about fall off. But when they’re tired, or sore, or just don’t feel like running anymore, they stop, plain and simple. They don’t feel any pressure to run through the pain or stick to a rigid schedule; kids listen to their bodies and only run if it feels good. The next time you’re heading towards running burnout but feel like you have to keep pushing yourself, take a page from the kids and let yourself rest. The recovery time will fix whatever is ailing you and have you back running ’til your legs fall off in no time.
Kids run for fun
For a kid, running is just plain fun. They don’t run to stay fit or hit a personal best; kids run to play tag, to chase the dog in the yard, or to catch the ice cream truck. Channel their spirit and do something fun on your next run. Take your pooch to the park or run with your best friend before brunch. And hey, don’t knock running after the ice cream truck—now that’s just fun no matter how old you are.
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