Building your running with patience 

You would think that being a runner is to just run and that’s all. That’s where we are wrong. There are multiple facets to the activity of running. I want to introduce you to Patience.  “Running, here’s Patience. And Patience, here’s Running. What can you teach Running?”


Today I had the pleasure of taking time off work to play chaperone to a family member to day surgery. Simple activity and a small part of my day, I thought wrong. Besides being a physical and mental crutch, I also needed to be stronger in both regards. Missed my planned run in the morning and now I’m just sitting here waiting. I could have planned a run near the hospital and then still be here when she wakes. Thoughts course through my mind about what I’d be doing instead. I could run after I complete my chaperone responsibility. The drive home is an hour and the time going back and forth is better used by reading.

In amongst all the self-dialogue, I also read a few articles online and the daily newspaper. I am missing my run. Read another running shoe review. I have been patient. I know now why they refer to people treated by medical professionals as ‘patients’. That’s what you have to be when waiting for procedures to be done on you. I didn’t have any procedures but I need to be patient. I think back to doing run sessions and events, about how I need to have patience when aiming for a particular goal. Running is a mental game, as much as physical. I am following a plan to run a certain distance and need to have patience and faith in the process. Patience is part of the ingredients needed to succeed in running a certain distance. I couldn’t have gone from being a 10 km runner to a half marathoner without patience and following the plan and process.  Patience when I had to miss a run and patience when I had other activities needing my attention.

Patience teaches us to bide our time when overtaking another runner. Use your patience and take the time to have a good run up and close the gap to the target runner ahead.  Overtake when ready. Sometimes this may take several tries as your target may decide to pull away or retake his position. Run your own pace and you may find that you have the staying power through being patient to overtake one last time and stay ahead.  Pick your next target and use patience to do this again. This helps get you through an event and may gain you a PR.

During your training runs, you may be alone, aim for running to certain landmarks or objects in the distance. You need patience to be able to run to that landmark. Set your sights on your target point and run to it. As long as you are moving, the time and distance will pass and you’ll reach your destination.

We are not all born with Patience. It is a mental strength that can be learnt. If you are a fast-paced person and do things quick compared to someone who is more calm and slower in pace, patience may be more difficult for you to master; as you may tend towards quicker gratification. Figuratively, you’d eat an elephant one bite at a time and that’s how you train yourself up to gain patience. Plan your step by step actions to reach a goal and it’ll help block distractions and interruptions will seem less disruptive. Just like the tortoise triumphs over the hare, your steady and patient progress will win you your prize. 

How do you practise to have Patience? What do you do? And how do you gain Patience? Feel free to add your comments below.

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