1. Run More
More than any other factor, how much you run each week has the biggest impact on your running success. More than any other factor, how much you do has the biggest impact on your success as a person. So, commit to run more and do more this year. Pick a goal and stick to it, no matter what gets in the way. No excuses.
2. Train with a Variety of Speeds
If you run slowly all the time, you’re just going turn into a slow runner. Train along the whole continuum of speeds, from very slow to very fast. Understand when it’s time to run slowly and when it’s time to run fast. Live life along the whole continuum of speeds, from very slowly to very fast. Understand when it’s time to slow down and relax and when it’s time to push the pace. You don’t have to rush through life at someone else’s pace; you have only to take life at the pace that is right for you.
3. Optimize Recovery
All of the adaptations you make when you run occur during the recovery between workouts, not during the workouts themselves. So to adapt optimally, you need to recover optimally. That means staying hydrated, consuming adequate carbs and protein, not stressing your body outside of your workouts, and getting adequate sleep every night. As successful people, we also need to optimize recovery. If you push, push, push all the time, you’re going to, in my mother’s words, burn the candle at both ends. So take time for yourself (this is the hardest lesson for me to learn myself).
4. Be Patient
To become a better runner and raise your level of performance takes time. You have to put in the work and be patient. You can’t do one interval workout this week and expect to be faster next week. You can’t do one thing this week and expect to be a better success next week. Success in all aspects of our lives takes time. Few things in running and in life happen on our timeline. Focus on the work itself rather than the timeline of that work.
5. Train with Others Who Are Faster Than You
To be a better runner, run with other runners who are just a little faster than you so they can push you to reach for something better than you are. To be a better success and a better person, work and hang out with other people who are a little smarter, a little more compassionate, a little more sophisticated, and a little more savvy than you.
6. Love More
To be a better runner, you have to really love it. There’s a lot involved — lots of mileage, long runs, tempo runs, interval workouts, hills, speed work. If you don’t love it, it’s not going to be a good experience for you. To be a better success, you have to love what you do, you have to love the people you surround yourself with, and you have to love yourself, even in the face of failure and rejection. So love more in 2017 and watch your running and your life be better.