In one of my favorite books, Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry (Hi, my name is Kaitlin and I’m a certified nerd), he drops this truth bomb: “If you want to crank up the pace, you have to earn it.”
To some, it might sound a little elitist, but he definitely has a point. For context, he is talking about physically preparing your body to be able to handle what you’re asking of it. He goes on to explain that running faster requires more from our bodies - more mobility, more force, more power, and more durability.
For members of our Run Empowered Strength Team, this sounds pretty familiar right? In every workout we include mobility, stability, strength and power in order to enhance our durability, resilience, and longevity and lay the groundwork necessary for improvements in performance capacity.
If you are demanding improved running performance from your body, you should be proactive about preparing your body to handle the workloads. As Jay says, “Improving the chassis leads to better use of the horsepower.”
And this is true regardless of where you are in your running journey. Any and every performance goal at any level of running is valid and important and should be treated as such - especially by YOU. But you have to believe in yourself and the idea that you deserve to go after your goals with as much depth and passion as a pro.
I don’t mean that you have to take yourself so seriously that there’s no longer room for joy in running. It’s actually the opposite! What I’m getting at is that if your running goals are truly important to you, they will provide a sense of purpose and drive that compels you to engage more fully in all areas of your life.
Chasing big running goals makes it harder to compartmentalize running as a separate part of your life. It becomes a part of your identity and your lifestyle. You start engaging in your life differently when you fully engage with and believe in your goals. Once you let yourself believe you are capable of more, your lifestyle will reflect that. You will begin to seek out better routines and habits like sleep, nutrition and strength training because you know they matter.
I believe that every runner who has joined Run Empowered has done so from a place of committing to their potential. And I can see it in the consistency with which my athletes show up week in and week out and put in the work - because they believe that it matters. And it does.
If you hear yourself trying to logic your way out of pursuing a goal by saying things like, “I’m not fast enough for a coach,” or “My goals aren’t lofty enough to need to bother with strength training,” or, "I'm not athletic enough," these are signs that you’ve put up a wall between you and your ability to earn speed. What you're really saying is, "who am I to pursue more for myself?"
Sometimes I think the reason people struggle to make the kind of progress they dream about isn’t because they’re not willing to work hard, it’s because they reinforce this wall that says the hard work won’t ultimately matter because they’ve already decided their goals are out of reach. I know this because I’ve been there.
But it does matter. It will pay off. And you owe it to yourself to try.
Why is running important to you? What distances do you want to be able to run? Do you want to be a better runner? If so, what do you think it will take to get there? What deliberate practices or decisions might help you get there? And what are you telling yourself about what you are capable of?
Here's what I'm learning: you are capable of more than you think, and you deserve to explore your true potential. But in order to bring your potential to life, you have to make the decision to commit and then go out and earn it.
If you're interested in comprehensive strength training for runners that eliminates the programming guesswork and will help you run faster, run farther and finish stronger, check out Run Empowered! Get access to a plan and a coach to help you crush your goals!