Making a difference

Yesterday I had a chat with someone at work and they said ‘that really helped and made a big difference, thank you’.

Tonight I had a run and chat with someone, and made them feel a lot better about themselves.

She came to me feeling all ‘messed up and all over the place’ (in her head), and a run, a chat and an hour and a bit later and she felt great after it: refocused, happy and motivated.

Her head was in a funny place because she’s been running with people who are ‘faster’ than her and she’s been pushing herself out if her comfort zone to keep up. She’s been thinking that pace and time is important … and I tried to get across to her that (in my opinion) they aren’t.

I’ve written about why I think time and pace shouldn’t matter and how (I think) running to your heart rate is a much better way to run:

And tonight I talked to her about other things it’s better to aim for when doing events or training for events.

When I train and when I run in events I run solely to my heart rate and the distance I’m covering. Time and pace goes out the window and I run with my heart rate at around 150 on avg for training or comfortable events, and up to 165 on avg when I want to push it in an event.

It’s good to have goals, but I think time and page goals aren’t the best goals. They may have their place, but I think running to your heart rate is more individually suited to you, and allows you to take it easy it push it to the limits easily.

In my marathon training recently, I ran a half marathon distance. Time wasn’t a goal for me, but I ran it with my HR at 150 on avg. I finished in about 1:48, which is probably still too fast for the long SLOW run it should have been as part of my marathon training.

That day, someone at work said to me, ‘that’s a bit slow for you isn’t it?’

I hardly knew what to say to this apparently time obsessed person. I think I answered, ‘I ran to my heart rate, time wasn’t my goal. And it was meant to be a long slow run so probably should have actually been slower than it was.’

What I realise is that whilst 1:48 isn’t a PB for me, or the fastest or slowest time for a half marathon, it doesn’t matter. It’s a training run and pace it time wasn’t a consideration for me. Heart rate was. And put simply, I know that I’m fortunate to be able to run (and run so strongly over 13 miles or more).

I’m sure some time or pace obsessed people, or some people, would kill to run a half marathon in 1:48, but I don’t really care much for times.

Some people can’t run or don’t run. Some people are injured and some people simply can’t of won’t run. I’m one of the lucky ones, we’re the lucky ones. And ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ doesn’t matter one bit. It’s what us important to you that matters.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather run a ‘slow’ steady social chatty run with a friend than a fast hard run on my own or with a friend and unable to chat because we’re going too fast.

Anyway, I don’t use time and pace goals anymore, I much prefer goals like:

Heart rate (keeping it comfortable, or pushing yourself to your HR limits).

Being social (chatting to or getting to know people better, enjoying the event, sharing the experience).

Negative split (starting off slowly or steadily, and finishing strongly)

Raising money – (taking part in an event or training for an event and raising money for a worthy cause).

Having fun (taking it easy and enjoying it with friends – or strangers, who might become friends!)

Being fit and healthy and being able to run (being able to recover quickly from runs, being able to run with it injury, and be able to go upstairs without being out of breath).

See here for some non time based goals I set myself (and achieved) for the D33:

Compare yourself with yourself for sure, but don’t compare yourself to others and don’t worry about what others think. Who cares what others do or think?

And sure you might get people asking you, ‘what time did you get?’ But it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is what’s important to you.

Is pace and time important to you, or is enjoying yourself, being fit and happy with others?

I know what’s important to me, and it doesn’t involve pace or time. 🙂

For me, pace and time become a result of how hard I choose to push myself and what number I choose to push my heart rate to.

And sometimes I forget all about heart rate to and just run with my friends and have a chat.

Who cares what time or pace we go – the longer the better so we can get more quality chat in. 😀 Running should be fun and enjoyable not hard, horrible and painful!

Want to try or learn how to use heart rate training? Want a light bulb moment of how to run comfortably? Go here:

If you nail heart rate training, and embrace it, I’m sure it’ll make a difference. I’ve already had so many people saying it’s like a ‘light bulb moment’. So why don’t you try it too? I think you might like it. 🙂

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1 Response to Making a difference

  1. A good run is a run I enjoy. If it’s a good time (for me, as I’m not a front-runner, but never been bothered about that) then then that’s a bonus, but I’d rather have a run I came back smiling from than a couple of minutes quicker with a grimace. I remember the runs where the weather was good, the views were lovely, the places were new. I don’t remember the run I got my best mile time on (or at least not for that fact, maybe the weather was good?). The three runs sticking in my head right now are – The Osmotherley Trail Half Marathon – the scenery was immense (my time was poor), and two training runs in the woods – there was snow in one and I could run by the light of the moon, no need for a head torch, and in the other the sky was clear and I was running towards Orion overhead. Couldn’t tell you whether they were fast or not, but they were lovely.

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