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Fri, 04/19/2013

How Success Shows, and How One Can Use it to Succeed Even Better

The day of the 33rd Berlin Half Marathon 2013 was a sunny day and quite warm. But the days and weeks before that were freezing cold and nasty and did not invite to train for a half marathon at all. Additionally I got a cold, that took me out for ten days. Nevertheless I decided to take part in the half marathon and give my very best. I was flabbergasted when I saw my results.

I was only 3 minutes slower than the year before when I had trained regularly for the event. When I checked the 10 kilometer result I had to swallow: it was exactly the same as in 2012.

That made me think. If I had such a good result with poor training, how much better could I be in 2014 with a thought out training plan I even could start to follow now. You must know, I like to run but I hate to follow a fixed schedule. I try to run twice a week, but in reality I run when I feel like it. In keeping fit there is no use of pressure or forcing oneself to do so. Forcing yourself to excercise induces stress as a study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience suggests – but to push oneself a little or a little more to keep a more or less regular schedule, that one should do. By the way, the wish to run or exercise is, at least in part, generated by the genetics of motivation, as scientists have found out in experiments with rats. So if this is not your sport, so be it. You probably find another one.

Anyhow. What can one do to perform better when one already performs fairly good without big effort? Keep in mind that we are only talking about running for fun, to clear the mind after a crappy day in the office and to find out what one can achieve short of turning into a pro. Probably a good idea is to check out all the good advise one finds on the Health and Wellbeing pages of newspapers. Maybe there is something one can use for oneself.

A natural thing would be to find a runner's blog like the one the British newspaper The Guardian just put up in February and subscribe to the RSS-feed. Blogs give tips on a regular basis and they give motivation too. Probably getting motivation is much more important than reading about the right nutrition, which shoes to use, how to prepare for a marathon and so on.

One can find a training schedule on the web (this one is for beginners who just want to get started to run at all), an article which gives advise how to perfect your running form and one can find advise for a better diet that supports training. The website myhealthnewsdaily.com warned that too many people trade in a healthy dinner to go to the gym or vice versa. That of course should be avoided especially when training for a (half) marathon which puts much more strain on the body than an hour at the gym.

As for me, I know that I will not follow any of those training plans available on the web. Therefore I have to find my own way and experiment a little bit. But there is one thing, I have already learnt: the easiest solution to improve one's running performance is: just take a little detour to prolong your run, or try to run faster for a certain stretch or otherwise try to push your boundary a little bit. One does not have to study books and articles, just use good judgement, drink enough water and do not push it too hard to avoid injuries. And even walking during running is not a shame. With that in mind one can make it far – and fast. You just have to want it!