As you may have seen, the video for the Mizuno shoot I did has finally been released! It’s crazy to think all the discussion about this began in February!
When watching the video and listening to the narration I am giving, you may think I am simply saying lines that have been put in front of me. This is 100% incorrect. On two occasions, the film maker came to meet me and we sat for hours, both with microphones on, talking about my running, what it meant to me, and why I did it. He asked me questions that would push me in the direction he wanted, but every word I say is 100% the truth, and 100% spoken in the moment. I was however told that if you record someone speaking for more than 20 minutes you can twist what they say, so I better hope he doesn’t make a spoof youtube video of me!
So, what do I mean by what I say?
‘My focus in life is running, it occupies my thoughts all the time, and it governs everything that I do’
This may seem a bit excessive, but it is true. I am always thinking about running. Whether I’m sitting doing work, wishing I was out running, or simply sitting in an awkward position and worrying it may make my legs cramp up in my session later, my mind is always governed by running. Each decision I make, what time I do things, it’s all running motivated. Yes I do think about other things, and I’m not so simplistic only running is on my mind, but it plays a major part in my life and is my drive to succeed each day.
‘You’re not going to be good at anything if you are not obsessed by it’
I have previously done a post on being obsessed by running, as I believe the word obsessed has negative connotations, however I personally feel obsession can be a good thing. If you care enough about something and are dedicated to it, you are going to be obsessed by it. You need to be obsessed by whatever your goal is, or you are less likely to achieve it. You want to be able to do whatever you can to achieve it, show as much dedication to it as you can, and if this is classified as obsessed, then I believe I am obsessed, and I need to be to succeed.
‘I guess I do sacrifice a social life, but to me it’s not a sacrifice, it’s just a choice’
I frequently get asked how much I have to sacrifice as a result of giving so much of my time to running, and my usual answer is, nothing. To me, I feel I don’t sacrifice anything for running. Everything that other people may consider to be a sacrifice, to me is not, because I choose not to do it. I choose not to go out clubbing, and not to stay up late because that is how I am, and I don’t enjoy those things. Yes, part of the reason I don’t enjoy going clubbing is because I don’t want to be tired for my next day of training, but if I did not run, I am very confident I still would not like clubbing! I don’t sacrifice much in life, because I would much rather be running anyway. I love what I do.
‘You’re always thinking about what little thing can make you faster, whether that’s training, resting, or nutrition.
As is the same with any competitive sports person, you are always thinking about what you can do differently, or add, that will make you faster, or better at your sport. Whether I need to sleep more, and spend more time resting, or if there are certain foods I am missing that I need to include, or certain times I need to eat at that I currently don’t, I am always wondering what I can do to become a better runner. As a runner, you are constantly having to reassess training depending on how racing is going, and how you are feeling.
'It isn’t one rule works for everybody’
I am a strong believer in this. I believe, what works for one person, may not work for another, and may not work for me. Personally, I don’t feel I need to be running hundreds of miles a week to become the best runner I can be, for me its about balance and restraint. Balance is definitely something I am still working on. I always use Eilish McColgan as an example, as she runs about 40 miles a week and does the rest on the cross trainer, and she is an Olympic athlete, that only goes to show, it isn’t one rule for everyone.
‘You have to stay focused on yourself rather than everybody else’
I feel this partly links to my previous statement, as if you are too focused on everybody else and what other runners are doing, you believe you should be doing what they are doing, and this is not the case. If you focus on yourself and your goals you will feel happier and much more focused, whereas if you are preoccupied with what everyone else is doing, you will only end up comparing yourself, and may subsequently become demotivated. Focus on what you are doing, and what works for you, don’t waste time worrying about everybody else and their training.
‘Injuries make you reassess your training and you come out of it as a stronger athlete and a stronger individual’
Injury to me has been one of the biggest learn curves in my running career so far. Although no athlete wishes to get injury, I do believe my injury taught me more lessons than I ever would have thought. It taught me to reassess my trainng and make adjustments, it taught me running was something I wanted to continue to pursue into the future, and it taught me to trust the process. No path to success is ever straight, and it’s the obstacles and bends you learn from. I came out of my injury much more level headed, and with a healthier perspective about training and life in general. It made me even more determined than I already was (months of relentless aqua jogging does this) and it strengthened me as an individual as I saw I was able to cope with difficulties in a sensible way.
‘It’s just persistence’
This is such an important point. You don’t achieve your goals overnight, and you don’t succeed after one good training session. It’s all about persistence. I have been running since I was 6- years old, and training properly since I was 13. I only started increasing training in when I came to university. It all takes time, as long as you stick with it and stay motivated day in and day out, you will begin to see results. This doesn’t matter whether you are competitively training or hoping to see fitness benefits, persistence is key.
‘You’ve just got to trust your body and the training you’ve done, taking one step at a time, not everything has to happen now or in the immediate future’
I always find it so important to remind myself of all the hard work I put in, especially when going in to races. It is easy to let your nerves carry you away, but if you constantly remind yourself all the hard training you have put in, you will relax and realise racing is the moment you are able to see how training is going and put all your hard work to use. Trust your body. The next point I make links to my final statement discussed below. I truly believe time and hard work does pay off. If you stay committed and dedicated, you don’t know when you may achieve your goals, but one day they will be achieved. It all takes time.
‘long distance runners are still in their peak in their 30’s, and I’ve only just turned 20’
I always get so held up on how old I am. Saying that there are girls out there my age and younger who have achieved so much, and I haven’t got to where I want to be yet. But it really doesn’t matter. Every athlete reaches their peak and comes into their own at different stages in their lives. Luckily for us long-distance runners we have time on our side. There are marathon runners breaking world records, who are in their late 30’s. Paula Radcliffe broke the world record when she was 30. There is no rush to achieve everything now, and my body is still developing, so there is no point getting held up on your age. It doesn’t matter, you will achieve your goals if you are driven and when the time is right for you.
thank you @mizuno
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!