ADAPTING: The Key to making RUNNING FUN and achieving PEAK performance

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Join coach Eric Orton, author of The Cool Impossible and world renown coach in Born To Run, as he discusses training, performing, a...

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Comment by Alli Clinton on January 19, 2018 at 2:25pm

So true! Fun is different for everyone. I truly enjoy most of my workouts, and when I don't it's usually because of other circumstances creating stress in my life. My runs are one of the things I look most forward to every day...time to myself, doing what I love, no matter how hard or easy the run.

Comment by Rich Warne on January 17, 2018 at 5:35am

Interesting thoughts as ever Eric. This is why I picked up on the #runtoexplore angle - the map reading and the "where does this path go" is my fun, whilst still at the same time training.

Wolves - wow :-)

I still remember the Elk calling far off in the woods when I ran with you - don't think I'll ever forget that sound - haunting

Comment by Shayne Francis on January 11, 2018 at 6:11pm

Wolves!! That's fricking awesome!

The subject of fun is very interesting. I wouldn't say that I have fun on my training runs, but I enjoy the journey of working towards a race. Step by step, workout by workout. If you don't enjoy the process, then I think you would find it very hard going.

Comment by Lori Enlow on January 11, 2018 at 3:29pm

This one struck a nerve, or maybe a funny bone. Here’s why.

The past 3 years have been a whirlwind for me and my family. We up and moved from Oklahoma to Flagstaff Arizona at the beginning of 2015. I was running in the mountains, the desert, and in and out of the Grand Canyon, sometimes all in the same day. With regards to running and training for the mountain races I love, it was a dream. This summer, for a number of reasons, (none of them running related!) we moved back to Oklahoma. While I knew this was best for our family and for me in realms other than running, my fear was that I wouldn’t be able to adapt. That I wouldn’t be able to find joy in running the roads, trails, and hills I had become so familiar with over the years. Heck, that was the main reason we moved to Flagstaff! get away from what we felt was the mundane, and get closer to the landscape we found such great joy in.

I determined in the weeks before our move back, to not judge how I would feel about returning to Oklahoma. I would not let myself decide how it “would be”. I would’ve been easy to turn sour, to just know I would hate it. Going from the Grand Canyon to the little holler in the country... I decided I would just show up and go day by day. I would treat it as a new experience, instead of a return to an old experience. An amazing thing happened, I found joy. Not only in the runs and routes I’ve done a thousand times before, but in everything. Sometimes I have to search for it, but the coolest thing has been to find it, and find it much easier than I anticipated. I see new things about the same landscapes, like little treasures. Things I didn’t notice before. After a few months, I settled in and felt like I would be ok back in Oklahoma.

Then I had to have major shoulder surgery. An accident that occured over the summer, had come back to haunt me. When I could no longer for reach or lift a large cup of water with my left arm I finally bit the bullet and decided to have the tendon repaired. Thinking I would only by off running for 4 weeks I went into surgery. The surgeon called me once the anesthetic wore off and informed me that he had to do way more than he thought. 2 of the major tendons in the rotator cuff were completely torn away and retracted. He anchored them back to the bone, there would now be no running for 6-8 weeks. Last week I had approval to start training on an eliptical. My first thought was how horrible that would be. I hate being inside of a gym. I haven’t been on a treadmill come hell or high water...or sleet, snow and 50mph winds in over 3 years. There was no way I was going to find “joy” on an eliptical. And, I’m going to Hardrock 100 this year. How am I supposed to train for hardrock on an eliptical in a gym in Oklahoma? Hell, if I were in a gym in Flagstaff at least I’d be at altitude. This time I didn’t give the eliptical the benefit of the doubt that I gave my return to Oklahoma running.

Day 1 on the eliptical sucked. I determined I wasn’t going to like it and I didn’t. But an amazing thing happened, I had just a little fun on day 2. I figured out how to change up the eliptical to make it a little fun. Today I actually had a lot of fun...on the eliptical.

Over time, running….and life have come a fun challenge. Always, “can I adapt?”. This question is more and more met with a slight grin, a sliver calm confidence, and a “bring it” attitude. Fear is there too, but it is met with this undercurrent, and together they are synergistic. This synergy has brought me to many “Cool Impossibles”. The next big Cool Impossible? Hardrock 100. I say, “bring it!”

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