Sports Psychology

Runners Cheat

Runners Cheat

Come on admit it. Runners cheat. Step away from the auto-excuse button and just see it for what it is.

I’m not talking about performance enhancing drugs or blood doping. I’m talking about runners and their behaviors. What behaviors? The ones that get us all in trouble though we hate to admit it.

We shorten, eliminate or simply do not do thorough warm-ups and think that it won’t matter. Running a 10-20 minutes is a waste of time… let’s just get to the workout! That’s all that counts. Right?

We cut short or do not do range-of-motion drills. I mean come on, those drills are silly and they aren’t running so they can’t really make a difference. Right?

We think that the exercises that our physical therapist assigned to us are meant only for the PT days. We know that once or twice a week is MORE than enough to make us healthy even though it was 6-7 days a week of pounding our bodies to get us injured. Right?

We think we can get faster by just going for our daily run. I mean, who needs to run faster to run fast in races. That might be uncomfortable. Right?

We think that we can just become mentally tough on race day. I mean come on, why waste time on those everyday runs to bog the mind down with focusing on things that might help us on race day… just enjoy the run. Right?

We run 45 minute long runs instead of 60 minutes; or an hour thirty instead of two hours. What does it matter – it’s only a few minutes so can’t really matter. Right?

Goal pace runs are good enough to be let’s say 15 seconds slow. And besides I use a GPS. Even if they aren’t really accurate, what’s that 5 seconds per mile anyway? I can pick it up that little bit on race day. Right?

I know I’m supposed to have an easy day but if I push it today I’ll get in even better shape. What do 30 seconds per mile matter. Right?

I wasn’t able to do yesterday’s workout so I’ll just incorporate it into today’s run. Right?

If I really want to get in shape, I just need more miles. More is better. As long as I do that I will run faster and better. Right?

I know it’s a rest day but I feel good so I don’t need a day off. I’ll just put in a few extra miles and get in even better shape. Right?

If I come back a few days earlier than advised or sneak in a workout when I shouldn’t I’ll just be getting a head start on my come back. Right?

I’m not running so it really doesn’t matter if I eat a few extra calories, don’t do core exercises. They will all take care of themselves when I return to running. Right?

If I don’t quite do all the exercises or reps when the coach isn’t watching.. it doesn’t really matter. Right?

I’m trying to rehab but not running so it really doesn’t matter that I do that stupid exercise. I need to just wait until I don’t have pain and just start running again… I’ll be ok. Right?

We cheat.

We like to rationalize it. We like to make excuses for it. But, we cheat. Even the most dedicated runner cheats. I see this almost daily. True – there are those just wanting short cuts to success or healthy running. But, there are those who think they need to run and run harder each day to get better. This is cheating. Why?

Because you are cheating yourself out of proper conditioning.

You are cheating yourself out of strengthening.

You are cheating yourself out of improving.

You are cheating yourself out of returning from injuries to running as fast as possible.

You are cheating yourself out of truly training to put everything on the line on race day.

So, I want you all to look at what you are doing. I sure am. Stop cheating. Stop cheating yourself. Only when you do that will you be the best you can be as an athlete.

“Champions are made when no one is looking.”

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This post was written by:

- who has written 9 posts on Trail Running Club.


Owner of Mindset for Performance - a peak performance consulting service for athletes and business people alike. But here's what I actually do! As a certified mental games coaching professional I apply techniques and teach strategies from sports psychology - the psychology of peak performance - to everyone I can. I have worked with athletes from: tennis, golf, running, triathlons, duathlons, cycling, baseball, basketball, soccer, MMA fighting, and professional tiddlywinkers (ok I'm kidding about the last one.

I have a passion for sharing knowledge and see myself more as an educator. I love working with youth and really love seeing the difference the skills I teach make a difference in sports, school and home.

My work totally rocks!

Oh some other boring stuff about me:
• M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration (THE U of A) with post graduate work in sports psychology
• BS in Rehabilitation for the Deaf (Yes I know sign language)
• AA in nursing (early career)
• MGCP - Certified Mental Games Coaching Professional
• Certified running coach USATF Level I
• Certified track and field official USATF National Level


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