Celebrating our strengths
Hope you’re all staying healthy and taking care of yourselves. I know many of us have gotten sick or have family members who’ve gotten sick. I heard the analogy that if you haven’t gotten it by now it feels like you’ve been hiding at the back in a Grade 6 Dodgeball game, and all the front ranks have been thinned out. Made me laugh because I think we can all relate to that feeling! (unless you’re under 30 in which case you should really try an adrenaline pumping round of Dodgeball with people bigger and stronger than you – and sometimes a little unhinged – whipping balls at you as hard as they can – it’s… an experience).
Anyway, what I’ve been thinking about this week is how we all have our unique, individual strengths. And how we should really pause to reflect on them and feel proud about them. We DO NOT all have the same strengths. That is for sure. And there are many different ways to get to similar results.
I’m thinking of the story I heard from a coach about two 800m runners who consistently ran the same times in their best races, down to the second (think I’ve mentioned this one before). One came from a strength/aerobic background, and the other from speed/speed endurance. One ran 15 mile (~22K) long runs and lots of volume. The other barely ever ran more than 5K and did lots of power and fast-twitch work. They couldn’t train together, but they raced side by side. Now the 800m is a unique event in its pure blend of these two systems, and either strength can do well, but the point is, you’ll only do well if you acknowledge your strengths and play to them.
As we enter our key race season, let’s think about what we’re good at. Some of us are great at being quietly confident and patient and trusting ourselves in a race. Some are great at being extremely consistent in workouts and continuing to show up. Some shine with the ability to be tough when it counts and keep pushing when it’s hard. Some have the ability to bring others with them on their journey and surround themselves with joy and mutual support. Some are good at staying relentlessly positive. Some are great closers and always find a fast finish. Some are uniquely attuned to listening and responding to their body’s cues – whether it’s to slow down, rest, push or speed up. Some are amazing at just keeping on keeping on. And even technically we have different strengths. Some thrive more in long runs, some on hills, some in short speed, some in tempos. Whatever your unique combination of mental and physical attributes are – these are a strength. And every now and then, your specific combination will be perfectly matched with the external circumstances. And you will shine the brightest. Other times they might not line up perfectly, but that doesn’t mean your unique strengths don’t matter. You won’t be your best self by trying to be someone you’re not. Instead, celebrate and lean into the strengths you have. You are all incredibly strong in your own ways. So please think about that and be proud! I love seeing them and am continually inspired by y’all.
Onto tomorrow’s Lakeshore workout! (6:05 warm-up/drills, 6:15 Go time)
- 4-5 x 1 mile @ 10K pace w 1:45 rest. Nothing fancy, just straight-up. You can ease into the first one.
- If doing this fartlek style, 4-5 x 7 mins @ 10K pace w 1:45 easy
- If doing the Spring Run Off: 2 x 1 mile @ 10K w 1:45, 3 mins, 4 x 400 @ 5K w 1:15, 3 mins, 4 x 200 as long strides w 1 min
That is all – see you in the am!