Learning from Other Runners

by Elena on October 29, 2012 in Fitness

Runners like to give advice almost as much as moms do.  New runners, veteran runners, fast runners, injured runners, we can always learn something from a fellow runner. There are strategies and techniques to improve our form, get faster, recover from injury…advice is vast and never in short supply.

I suppose that is the beauty of running. Each run is a new chance to use what we have learned to relax, to improve, to speed up, or maybe to strengthen our endurance.

As a runner of eleven years I suppose that I qualify as a veteran, except that as I refocus and recommit to a running “reboot” where I no longer rely on what I have been able to do in the past, I am trying to start over.  Which means being open to learning, wanting to absorb all the wisdom from experts, feeling the excitement of the effort like it is the first time. So when I had the chance to learn from Runners World editors, coaches, running columnists, Olympians, and inspirational athletes during the Runners World Half Marathon, I sat on the edge of my seat, soaking it all in, feeling the buzz from an extended runners high brought on by morsels, tidbits, and personal experiences.

Running Tips and Inspiration

What every runner can learn | Ciao Mom


A key to running is having a training partner that keeps you accountable and helps push you to dig deep every day says  Shalane Flanigan, Three time Olympian and American record holder in the 3000, 5000, and 10,000 meters.


Marc Parent, The Newbie Chronicles columnist at Runners World.describes his entry into running as taking a “fork in the road.”  He did not want to be one of the many that said “I used to run.”  One of Marc’s major realizations was that “running is not a license to eat.”

Mental Toughness

Training Tips from Runners | Ciao Mom

Jen Van Allen, Special Project Editor Runners World, Author of The Runners World Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training.said several things that stuck out to me.  Jen believes that running is about “what is on your mind and in your stomach.” The hardest part of that is the hour before you run. (You know that hour right? The one where you talk yourself in and out of running for whatever reason?). Jen’s solution is to “Make an excuse or make it happen.”  The other thing that Jen said about running is that “it should feel like happy hour.”  It should help you find that happy place where you are feeling good and want to keep going.

I stumbled upon something today…something that represents my entry into running.

Tips Every Runner Can Learn | Ciao Mom

That thing was the finisher medal to a race that according to my doctor’s, I was never supposed to be able to run.  Holding the 2001 Marine Corps Marathon medal, that represents my first marathon, all 5 hours 38 minutes and 44 seconds of it, I realize that I have a chance. A chance to take these running tips, and apply them in real time, in my running reboot, to keep me focused and centered on the big goal: returning to the marathon in 2013.

What about you? What advice or inspiration have you heard recently, on any topic, that has stuck with you?

Ciao Mom

I participated in the Runners World Half Marathon as a FitFluential Ambassador. Race expenses were provided by Runners World. No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own.

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie October 29, 2012 at 12:34 am

Woo you go girl!! My inspiration comes from the fact that others around me are starting to run, just because I’ve been talking it up and showing that it is not something you have to be an athlete or even super fit to do. They motivate me to keep going so that they keep going with their own journeys.

AmyC October 29, 2012 at 6:56 am

Best advice recently: Cherish the memories. Clearly we never know what is going to happen in the future!

misszippy1 October 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

Great post. I love Jen Van Allen’s “make an excuse or make it happen” mantra. So true. I think you should take your chance to reboot and “run with it.”

Amanda @RunToTheFinish October 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

oh what a great set of lessons…gosh I have learned so much over the years, but yes I think the biggest thing still remains that running is a mental game. Love what you have done despite what they said!

Corey Feldman October 29, 2012 at 9:41 am

First congrats on the Marine Corps! I agree even though I have run on and off since I was 10, I know I can both teach and learn. Personally I don’t use a real running partner. I use an app that tracks my runs. posts them to Facebook and I can even hear comments from Facebook when I am running. I love it. Thats also part of my accountability Facebook and whoever follows me on there knows where I ran, how fast and far…

Amanda @ Run Principessa October 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Great tips!! Congrats a million times on Marine Corps. That’s so exciting! I think having a training partner is super important, but more easily said than done. You have to make sure you have similar goals and are on similar skill levels, otherwise harsh feelings could happen. So I love being accountable, I just haven’t found the perfect way to do so yet!

Stimey October 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Great tips! And I love that part about the hour before you run. I do that ALL the time. But I’ve never regretted going out and running, so I should probably just skip that whole back and forth. :)

Elena October 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

you are so right about the not regretting-but that hour is definitely killer. If I had counted the times I let that hour beat me, I would be in trouble. no more!

hchybinski November 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm

sigh. . .somedays I think I want to be a “runner” . . .wish my brain and my body coule reach a consensus.


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