Keep calm

Posted on: 07 Feb 2014

Good evening all, I've been following all of your stories, amazing and inspiring as per usual. I've been quiter lately simply because I'm not packing in the runs in the way that I have been fot the past 12 months. Still running though and will pick up the miles again soon as there are 10k's to go for and two big marathons to look forward to later in the year. For now though you lot are centre stage and rightly so!

No offence to anyone who is a fan of the " keep Calm" mini industry ( ie. keep calm and eat a cupcake, keep calm and drink champagne, keep calm its Friday etc etc etc ) but it really gets on my nerves! 

However, calm is something that I feel is really important as a runner. The best runs that I have ever experienced have calmness about them. Don't get me wrong, I love a fighting, sweaty, dogged run but I have realised recently that the best runs also have a real sense of calm about them too. I also understand that it isn't easy to run calm , the long distance against the clock can bring on a feeling of panic as the time slips by and the miles feel longer, the reaction to this is sometimes to get flustered, breathe harder, muscles tense, strides become choppy and it can feel like harder work. 
I was rewarded recently at the brass monkey half marathon with a time that I was pleased with and throughout the race I felt quite tranquil, it was something that I worked on, I actually listened to some really chilled out music beforehand and visualised some very relaxing things during my race. It's not usually my way at all, I thought that a more emotional adrenalin fuelled approach would be the better method but now I'm not sure that it's the right way for me to achieve my best. 
Whatever my state of mind I have been running recently without an impending race and it's the first time that I've run that way for well over a year. It's strange not to be working towards a goal but also liberating. physically I have run with a straighter back, head held a little higher, breathing seems more controlled  , perhaps it's a lack of pressure  that has bought about these changes, I'm not sure but it definitely feels more natural somehow, a harnessed adrenaline.
So perhaps as I called for some true "belief" from you all working towards your marathons I now call for calm too. Calm before and during the storm. If possible stay calm now as the date of the marathon begins to loom large, you are all working hard, doing mile after training mile . Try to keep a level head, don't panic too much about the niggles or missed sessions, you are in control, enjoy it, breathe deep, suck it in, - here comes to overused and meaningless punch line .... "keep calm and run a marathon! "

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