Between too fast and too slow there is that magic speed that gives you the best possible result. That is running on the edge of your ability.

Running is competing with yourself. My most common practice run is  from my house to the end of the lake path and back (about 7.29 km according to my gps) Yesterday I took a minute off my pb. That got me thinking about the factors involved in being the best one can be.

I always aim to be absolutely exhausted at the end of  each race while keeping a steady pace throughout the race. If I reach the end and still feel I can go on, I know I could have gone faster. If I have to slow down I usually lose more time at the end than I gained in the beginning.

It becomes even harder if there are no distance indicators on the road. What you feel in the beginning is a speed that you can sustain often turns out to be too fast during that last few crucial kilometers. That’s why it helps to have a target speed per kilometer and keep to that in the beginning.

There are so many other factors for being the best runner you can be. The right amount of training at the right intensity. Peaking your training at the right time and not over-training.  Eating and drinking the right food before and during the race. Getting enough sleep. Having the right gear. Even where you stand during the starting line-up and warming up before the start.

But come to think of it maybe just wanting it is the most important factor. Not everyone takes this competition with self equally seriously. And that is OK. I admit that it is a burden sometimes. Can’t I just relax and go with the flow? I have even planned for races and said to my self this one I am only going to enjoy. But then we start and I find myself pushing myself to my limits again.

Oh, the curse of perfectionism. Luckily I do not consider myself to be one in all areas of my life. In fact I am more of a generalist.

I believe that God created us and wants us to be the best possible person we can be. This has nothing to do with achievements, but with character. Patience and kindness and love, trust and perseverance, hope and peace: these are the things that I would like to become perfect in. To become like my role model and Lord, Jesus, is my ultimate purpose.

What have you found makes that crucial difference for you? In your running and in life in general. Comment on this post, please.

Keep running

Stephan

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