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Balance

How much balance do you have in your life? Some think it's important, others believe you can't 'get ahead' unless you focus on one area of life. This may be true for Olympic athletes, but how about us 'ordinary mortals'? We have to balance jobs with family, with running & other sports, with personal activities, etc. As you may have noticed, if you do too much of any one thing, if you do the same pace on your runs all the time, if you eat one kind of food all the time, if you hang around with the same people all the time, etc., you may bored, or start craving other stimulation, other food, etc. We have so many wonderful things to do in this world, enjoy the smorgasbord! Change your routines every once in a while and you'll find that all parts of your being will be stimulated and life will only get more interesting. Besides that, it's in the adventure of change that we discover new activities, people and zest for life. You only have to interview a few elderly people to learn that common amongst many of them is that they regret not doing certain things in their lives, not taking more chances, having more adventures. No matter how ingrained your 'habits' may be, you can change them if you want to. First is the decision that the change is important to you.

Consider this: If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got.

Examples of creating balance in your life...

Many runners are triathletes, so they additional physical activities that exercise other parts of their body. Some do pushups and sit-ups every day. Pushups keep the upper body toned and honed while the sit-ups keep the stomach and lower back muscles strong. You wouldn't just use barbells for one hand, nor run on one leg unless disabled, so balance the lower body strength from running with upper body workouts. Swimming and weights are also good. A triathlete often recovers faster from workouts than a runner does because his/her whole body is exercised and toned.

You may be getting lots of exercise for the body, but what are you doing for your mind? Your job/career may require a lot of brainpower each day, but your mind needs other stimulation also. Do you read novels or magazines unrelated to work? Do you have hobbies that tax your mind and totally absorb you while involved? Do you play games, puzzles, attend courses (not work-related)? Do you get involved with interesting discussions or seminars?

We mentioned food earlier... do you tend to eat the same things all the time? Do you ever change your routine just for the change? Try it! No granola tomorrow, have scrambled eggs and toast with a banana. Have orange juice instead of coffee! Oh, sorry, coffee is sacred grounds...! Do you go to the same place for lunch or dinner all the time? Move around! That smorgasbord of life includes a huge variety of restaurants and foods.

Another part of Balance is how you fit running and other activities into your schedule along with other responsibilities to a spouse or partner, family, friends, social groups, courses, etc. You'll know you're a bit obsessed with running when:

  • You wear your running clothes to bed so you'll have a quicker departure next morning...
  • Your car has a "PR or Bust" bumper sticker...
  • Your Runner's World magazine comes by courier...
  • Your favorite slogan is: Don't wait for your ship to come in, RUN out to it.


Coaches Corner  

The articles, tips and comments here are the opinions of the authors who have years of running and coaching experience. Our comments are based on sound, sensible training principles recommended by top coaches and serious runners.

> Balance

> How to Spring into Summer

> Breaking out of a Slump

> Strength Training



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