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5 Things Successful Runners Never Do

Five roadblocks to avoid to rest your full potential.

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We bet you’re the type of runner who wants to be better, stronger, more motivated—yet you feel stuck in a rut ATM. Perhaps you’re guilty of doing one of these five things that can often set a runner back from her full potential. Here’s what not to do in order to be a successful runner:

Compare yourself to others.

We’ve all done it: completed a kickass run, then run onto Facebook to see someone else that had an even ‘better’ run. Then we feel like crap. Why does this low happen when, just moments before, we felt victorious? We have compared ourselves to some other runner who maybe ran farther or faster than us. Or perhaps they did neither, and we are just upset they seemingly skipped their rest day without consequence. With running, as with most things in life, you’ll be much happier if you relish in your own amazing accomplishments without letting someone else’s own endeavors affect your pride in yourself.

Skip rest days.

Taking a rest day is just as instrumental in making you a strong runner as intervals or long-run days. Without rest, our bodies simply can’t repair, rebuild and strengthen. If you feel guilty or weak for taking a recovery day, stop being hard on yourself and remember the big picture, your end goal.

Dwell on the bad runs.

I remember one run in particular that chewed me up and spat me out with such ferocity that I almost decided running just wasn’t for me. I was too tired, too sore, too slow, too cramp-y, too hot, too discouraged. What I failed to realize back then was that, in order to have amazing run days, you have to suffer through the crappy ones. You can acknowledge that it sucked and move on, but don’t dwell on it. One horrid run does not define you as a runner.

Get discouraged by discomfort.

You might have heard the expression: “Embrace the suck.” This mantra means that you need to stop resisting the hard moments and welcome them into every cell of your being. You don’t learn to enjoy them, you learn to tolerate them in a productive way. Many of us think that when running becomes tough (as it always does), we should stop, go home, eat a donut and watch TV. Not true—someone else once said, “Running doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.” In fact, the most successful runners have learned how to accept their discomfort and recognize it as part of the experience. Remember: what you resist, persists.

Forget to be grateful. 

Too often, runners get caught up in the drama of judging themselves for how fast or how far they can run. There is constant talk about getting PRs, qualifying for Boston and hitting outrageous weekly mileage goals. We forget that the true beauty of running is the ability to do it at all, that our bodies are letting us engage in this wondrous process of rapidly placing on foot in front of the other. To be able to run is a gift and one that should not be taken for granted.

What other things do successful runners not do? Retweet this article on Twitter and include your input!