“It is easy to the train the legs, it is difficult to train the mind”. So says Anaco Garcia in this beautifully shot little movie about running.
Its true. To run at our best we need to carve away, mile by mile, day by day, at our legs. We need to shape them into engines built to run fast. We need to expand, breath by breath, our lungs ability to take in oxygen, and our hearts ability to transfer that to our blood. We need to build ourselves, physically, into runners. There is only one way to do this — with relentless, consistent, physical practice.
But we also need to build the mental runner. We need to chip away at the self doubt which tells us we can’t do another mile, that we can’t run any faster, that our best years are behind us, that “this is all I have in me”. We need to show ourselves through repetition and failure, and long hours on the roads that we are always capable of doing just a little bit more. That settling is never ok.
We need to remind ourselves, again and again that sometimes, doing more means doing less. It means giving the legs a break or taking the pressure off a work out. It means not letting commitment become overtraining and it means taking it easy this week so that next week, you can make the whole thing harder.
There is no short cut to getting there, either physically or psychologically. You have to put in the time. You have to feel the pain. You have to wait out the injuries, and suffer through the bad weeks, and months, of training. If you want to be any good at this stupid game, you have to try and you have to fail, repeatedly. You have to start now.