Saturday, December 24, 2011

Way of the Trail Runner - the Code of the Samurai for Coyotes & People

“Way of the Trail Runner”

  1. Your Physical Health is Ground Zero
Running should enhance your health, not tear you apart. Recovery is key. Always keep in mind the point of doing this is to maximize your health/fitness/well-being. If you are constantly pushing, never taking time for recovery (especially if you’re prepping for “an ultra”) you will soon break down or burn out. Keep an eye on your energy levels, your health, and your physical aches-n-pains. Either we make time to self-maintain or soon we’ll be doing all the things we should have been doing all along while injured.

  1. Respect the Run
 Running is truly a gift.  Always strive to appreciate that you can move your body in an inspired, elegant and amazing way.  Even a bad run is still a part of a great day more often than not. You are challenging yourself for sport, and your body will react and respond and build you stronger. Running is one of the greatest representations of “you get out what you put in”.

  1. Respect Your Fellow Athlete
Anyone and everyone who runs/hikes/walks (bikes/rides/etc.) deserves our deepest respect. Those who get out there and JUST DO IT, it doesn’t matter the distance, speed or frequency, on that day, you are an athlete and we are humbled by you.

  1. Respect the Trails
No matter where you live, you can always visit some amazing places to run. Be it a local park or a mountain, canyon or beach, MOTHER EARTH deserves your deepest respect. She nurtures us, and we should honor this. It’s not enough to simply not litter. Pick up anything you see out there. We are using the trail, beach or path to better ourselves; let’s leave them better too.  Step up your game.  It will feel really good and you will inspire others to do the same.

  1. Remember Where You Started
Whether it was 28-years ago or 28-days ago, remember how far you’ve come. Try not to waste time wishing you were better/faster/more fit than another time/period in your life, work to be better now.  There was a time you might have found running difficult, laborious or even punishment, but now, you can enjoy yourself, have fun and improve with mindful remembrance.

  1. Thou Shalt Not Envy (Another Runner)
Much of an athlete’s success is determined prior to their workouts beginning.  Never begrudge someone else the hard work they did to improve. Measure yourself against yourself, and be generous with that measurement (be glass half full).

  1. Lead (By Example)
Commit yourself to having an impact in the lives of others (runners & non-runners alike). Running doesn’t just improve you physically; it improves your overall health, well being, vitality and mentality. Reinvest that energy in others by inspiring them to take up a physical activity that inspires them. If they hate running, or don’t run, invite them to give it another shot with new perspective. 99% of us LOVED to run when we were children (“Don’t run in the hall/house or around the pool” etc.).  Parents and adults were demanding we ran less back then. Somewhere we took a wrong turn. If you found your way back to that JOY (or never lost it), spread the love. Even if you only inspire 1 in every 10 people, that 1 drop in the pond will send shockwaves through their life and to those around them.  It’s worth it.

  1. The “All In” Mentality
You never know which run or race will be your last for a while. Don’t take it for granted. It’s one thing to take an easy day in a tough week; it’s another thing altogether to just run because your training schedule says so. Don’t lose sight of this simple, yet profound thing that we do and how much we miss it when it’s not available as an option.

  1. Have Fun (At All Costs)
”If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.” –Katelyn Benton
It’s better to sacrifice performance goals than it is to sacrifice the enjoyment of running. Yes, it’s fun to improve, but if you make it to the end of a long training program, fall short at a race, and have the feeling “I just wasted 4-5 months of my life” or more, you’ve ripped yourself off in oh so many ways. Start with a fun attitude of gratitude and the race results will follow. No, it won’t happen overnight. If you want that kind of success, you’re in the wrong sport.

  1. Pedro’ing It (Notes on Finishing Strong at a Race)
To “Pedro It” means to run your FASTEST 5k of the race in the very last 5k of that race (of ANY distance).
No matter how deep you dig, there’s always more you can give.  When you’re close to the finish, line it up and knock it out, go for it, get it done, *insert clever finishing cliché here”.  The ONE exception to this is when you’ve spent more than 50% of a race running alongside someone (teammate or otherwise), thou shalt not drop the hammer on a partnership (at the very end).  If you’re running for position or wish to beat one teammate in particular, you agree to leave them (behind?) prior to the last 20% of that race (ex. in a 50-mile race, the last 10-miles).

  1. There Are Many Eyes In “Team”
When it comes to a run or race there will be good, bad and UGLY days. You are part of a team, especially when you don the COYOTE jersey.  Represent yourself as you’d want your teammates to represent you. Especially when you have a bad day.  The great thing about failing when a part of a team is you get to CELEBRATE the success of your partners in crime instead of wallowing in self-pity. Even when you go to a race where you are a “Coyote pack of 1”, we are globally recognized (thank you Facebook & Twitter), and you represent us all. Make us proud, especially when your performance isn’t what you had hoped.