The Tortoise not the Hare
Who out there worries about how fast they run? I know that I used to. You shouldn’t be.
While I am obviously interested in the times that I run, and like to work out what has made me faster / slower etc, I have thankfully moved on from worrying about being too slow. The fact is that you are still out running, and achieving the distances and the exercise is what you are aiming for.
One of oldest friends brought it home to me. He has only seriously been running for three years or so. He has gotten to the stage where he takes part in ultra marathons – 100 miles plus! When you ask him about his speed he will tell you that he runs slow, yet on shorter distances can produce sub 20 minute runs for 5kms cross country. I know that I am unlikely to ever achieve those speeds and certainly not those distances. However if you ask him if any of this matters he will tell you no in a flash. As far as he is concerned, there is always someone out there faster and it is the fact that you are out there at all that truly matters. To be fair unless you are the fastest in the world, that will always be someone faster.
If you want to work on your speed, there are techniques for doing that. If you want to work on your distances and stamina, this is also easily done. What should however be your priority is ensuring that you continue to enjoy running and being part of it.
Next time you look at your time or are passed by another runner, don’t tear yourself up about it. Remember that you are out there doing it and consequently are all ready beating those who aren’t. Think how many people never undertake regular exercise yet you are. Relish in this and enjoy your run.