Not long ago, I was into sports, especially running. Turns out, if we take it seriously, running is not just merely an excercise of moving body with our own foot, it’s beyond that. There’re variety types of running, several techniques to prevent injuries, many kind of running workouts, rules to follow, and philoshopically life lessons we can learn.

Marathon is one of the type of long-distance running that requires us to run ~42km. Although I haven’t done it yet, but small portion of life’s lessons from long-distance running that I‘ve got during my weekely excercise is too worthless if I just take if for granted. That kind of long-distance running, more or less is quite similar with our life’s journey.

Run slowly to run longer

New runners often do a mistake by running fast once they start to run. It’s not a good strategy for long-distance running, especially in marathon, as the goal is to finished ~42km. In such great distance, endurance is the key, and how we preserve our energy is important. We don’t want to feel fatigue early, so the only way to do that is to run within our aerobic baseline. Which in turn, slower than the first time we expected.

In life, we also have a big goal. We can say it as our north star. It’s unique from person to person. North star couldn’t be achieve in one night. It requires consistent behaviours and efforts through months or even years. People often got energized on the first time they knew their goal. They tend to put their focus and energy burst in a day one, which turns into fatigue and boring on later days. Slowing down of the execution can prevent this happening. Same as when we run marathon.

Race result is just a side effect of the running process

In my subjective opinion, to much care about race result can harm us than help. The reason is the expectation that’s very often not meet our standard. There’s 2 possible outcome if it happened, either we push ourself hard or give up. Both are bad. Preparing marathon is long journey process, we can’t push ourself hard as it will make our body collapse nor give up in the middle of the preparation as it will be wasted. Even though the race result meets our expectation or above, it still harms us. It could spike our ego. It makes an illusion that the game is done so that we don’t need to train again.

The thing that we need to care much is the process itself. The process of running. If the race result is not meet our expectation, it’s okay, since we care about the process, we keep continue. If the race result is meet our expectation or above, then well, we don’t care, we keep running on the next day, as the result is not our focus.

Life has no different. Caring too much about the result is not more worth than the process. Care with the process could help us to be resilient, humble, and patient while care too much with the result builds our ego, disapointment, and impatientness. Beware about which focus we choose.

Plenty of time to listen to our body

To be able to finish marathon, we should know that the endurance is needed. To build endurance, we should be mindfully listen to our body; our heart rate, breathing, even our blood flow. All of this will eventually make us understand what our body‘s needs to end the marathon. By listening to these metrics, we know when we should decrease our pace, breath more slowly, or detect the potential injury foresight.

In these busy life, when is the last time we listen to our body? Maybe our body needs more rest, vitamins or minerals to be fullfiled, connection to be rebuilt, goal to be recallibrate, or even personality to be develop. We’re not in hury, we have plenty of time to listen to our body. Feel it.

The 3 above are just a brief snippets I’ve gathered during my running experience. There’re always more lessons we can capture from marathon events. More or less I hope these lessons can help us to be a better person. Cheers!