Comfortable – (adj.) providing physical ease and relaxation.
Comfortable is excellent when it comes to clothing, your favorite recliner, or your bed. But, when it comes to you’re your training, your work, anything that isn’t clothing or furniture, you are best when you’re uncomfortable.
Comfort breeds complacency. It keeps us in a steady state without growth. And, sometimes can lead to declines.
In running, or any sport for that matter, to get better, you have to make yourself uncomfortable. To get faster you have to train at a faster pace. Switch up your training runs. Add new skills, push your limits. You still need your easy runs and recovery days, but by mixing in training days that make you uncomfortable, you push the bar higher.
If you run the same 3-5 miles every day, at the same pace, you will remain at that pace. The more comfortable you are, the more you go through the motions. This leads to ruts, and stale training. However, if you want to get faster, you need to push your pace to the next level. Then when you get comfortable again, you push again.
How do you make yourself uncomfortable?
There are several ways to this. The first is finding someone who is faster than you, and run with them. By faster, look for someone who’s average pace is 15-30 seconds faster than yours. Ask them to push you, and 99 times out of 100 they will be more than glad to. And, when you are running with them ask them what their weekly training looks like. You’ll find out they more than likely switch up their efforts between speed and easy. The key is not to put in 100% effort every run.
Yes, there are cases where you may not be able to run with someone faster than you. When that happens, use your running community to keep you honest and plan your training each week with clear metrics that you need to hit. Set goals for yourself that are attainable. It could be dropping 30 seconds off your pace in 60 days. Or increasing your easy weekday run from 3 to 6 miles. Whatever it is, make the goal uncomfortable, but not impossible. My weeks are similar in the type of training, but the effort and mileage changes from week to week. A sample is:
- Monday – Easy effort run 1 to 2 minutes slower than race pace. Plus core & stretch
- Tuesday – Tempo or progression run – negative splits that decrease 10 to 15 seconds per mile starting at 1 minute slower than race pace and finishing at 1 mile time trial pace. Plus core and strength
- Wednesday – Full body strength, core, stretch.
- Thursday – Fartlek, Intervals, or 1-mile time trial. Plus core.
- Friday – Easy recovery run or rest.
- Saturday – Long run
- Sunday – Cross train or rest.
All this goes for life as well. The more comfortable we get, the more prone we are to making mistakes, getting bored, creating stale work. As humans, we need to be tested. It triggers our competitive instincts. It broadens our horizons. It makes us, and the others around us, better.
Being uncomfortable fosters growth and the pursuit of excellence.
Cool Down Mile
Listing to one of my five playlists the other day got me thinking. There are several songs on my playlist that I’m sure will surprise people. Some I’m not extremely comfortable with admitting, but as stated above you need to make yourself uncomfortable. It can even lead to better playlists that keep you going. Here are what I believe to be the five most surprising songs on my playlist. What are you most surprising songs? Leave your five or three or even most surprising in the comments.
- Good for you – Selena Gomez (it was on an Aftershokz playlist and somehow it just worked)
- Soy yo – Bomba Estero
- Going bad – Meek Mill (just realized there are three Meek Mill songs on my main playlist)
- Can we pretend – P!nk
- Wobble – Flo Rida
What type of content are you interested in? What do you want to you know about me? Leave it in the comments, and I’ll write about it.
Don’t be afraid of achieving greatness, nor the battles you face to get there. Even if it seems as though no one else believes you can do it, I believe you will.