The secret to having longevity as a runner is not just about how you treat your body. Perhaps even more important is how you treat your mind. I've seen plenty of careers of more talented runners than myself end up with short careers due to the mental side of the sport.
Today, I want to share the keys to longevity that helped gave me a long career as a professional runner and how applying them to your could help you as well.
No One Really Talks About the Mental Side of Longevity.
Hit Every Rung of the Ladder
My college coach wants told me that every runner; no matter if they take huge leaps or slow improvements, will hit every rung on the ladder.
If you want to stay healthy and be in it for the long run, you have to be ok with slow and steady growth. Sooner or later you will hit every rung anyway.
In other words, don't stress over having to hit a massive personal bests.
Don’t Give a Sh**
Sometimes you have to just relax and live life. Constantly being worried about what you are eating and drinking, or blowing off friends so you can go to sleep can lead to burnout.
This is what also allowed me to press the reset button after every season.
There is no way I could have had a long career in running if I didn’t busy my mind with other things. Whether that was fishing, climbing, or starting businesses, I had to have something outside of running.
This is exactly why my coach and I started Run Gum.
During the spring of 2014 while dealing with an injury, I nearly retired. So we decided to start this caffeinated gum company and the excitement of the startup gave me new life.
I don't think it is a coincidence that a year later I won my sixth U.S. 800m Title. (OK—It may have been the energy boosting gum
Finally, if you want to be able to continue running for a long time (or do anything for a long time for that matter), you must seek happiness over success.
If you're not happy in what you're doing, then all the gold, all the medals draped around her neck, and all the accolades they're not going to be enough.
Being successful doesn't guarantee happiness. But being happy guarantees success.