Whether it’s in relation to everyday life or running, we all have values that we like to live by and live up to. There are things that we want to achieve and succeed at, but ultimately, we want to live up to our values and do ourselves proud. Our values follow us through every day and different ones come to the fore at different times. When it comes to running, my values are those such as quality, positivity, courage, and strength. I like to employ my values into my day to day life as well as my training. Whether I am on the front line of a race or having my breakfast in the morning, there are different values that I follow.
When standing on the start line, I do want values such as strength, toughness, determination and positivity to be running through my mind. At other times, outside of running, I have different values, such as compassion, thoughtfulness, happiness, and honesty. If I stick to my values and use them to drive my performance, I usually perform better and feel much more satisfied at the end of the race compared to when other goals are on my mind. If I am aiming for a time or to be among certain other athletes, I don’t perform my best, however, if I aim to stay strong and positive throughout the race, I finish feeling as though I have done myself proud. Making myself proud includes adhering to my own values.
For example, in tough sessions and races, I have to stop the negative thoughts that may enter my mind and think, what would Hannah do when being positive and courageous? Well, she would dig deep and keep pushing through the pain her legs are in and she would have the confidence to go with the race and not fear what the outcome may be. This interlinks with the main reason why I run in the first place… enjoyment! The best way to ensure that my thoughts stay positive is through enjoyment. If I am enjoying pushing my body during a session or race, I am positive, and negative thoughts don’t enter into my mind. However, if they do, I try to focus on different aspects of my session and break it up into small, more manageable sections to make it mentally easier.
My training is not about quantity, but instead quality. It has taken me 1.5 years to build up to where I am now, and this still includes no double runs and I still only run 5 days a week. Yes, my training does consist of cross training alongside it, but I no longer have that urge to want to do more. I am able to see that more is not always better and for me… quality is much more important. I am very conscious to stick to the training I have been set and not add extra miles in here and there. Whilst I may occasionally feel I need to, I know what my coach has set is what is best for me, therefore I trust her. I make up most of my mileage in sessions, when quality can be kept high, so I make the most of all the miles I do.
Toughness, or strength, is another one value that I mostly employ in tough sessions or races, however it can also be used in everyday life. This is the value that reminds me I am strong and that my body and mind can do more than I believe. When the going gets difficult, I remind myself of everything I have been through in the past. This makes me realise that a tough session or race really isn’t as scary as I first believed. It helps give me the strength of mind and body I need to be ‘tough’.
The values I employ in running and my everyday life, vary quite considerably. Depending on the situation, there are different beliefs that I follow. If I go through training, racing, and everyday life in line with my values, I feel proud of the person I am. No matter where I finish in a race, if I have raced true to my values, this is the best result I can get. So, what values do you like to live by?
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!