Run Mom Run Happy

My thoughts on being a mom, runner, wannabe health nut, and everything else.

3 Reasons Not to Compare Yourself to Other Runners

on January 24, 2016

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can be a crucial aspect of starting and sticking to a fitness routine.  When you are starting a running program, having fellow runners to complete the challenge and train with can provide incredibly valuable motivation and inspiration.  I know I have met some amazing people through my running journey.

Nutri-Run

There can be some negative aspects.  It can be difficult not to compare yourself negatively to others.  There will be people faster than you.  There will be people that can increase their distances in a shorter time frame.  There will be people that will seem to be doing a better job.

Usually, I use others’ successes as positive motivation to improve myself.  There are times, however, that looking at another person’s accomplishments brings me down.

3 Reasons Not to Compare Yourself to Other Runners:

  1.  There is a very big difference between gaining motivation from another runner and comparing yourself to them.  If you find yourself feeling sad or unmotivated when looking at another person’s accomplishments, it is important to take a step back and evaluate your own goals and why you are running.  For myself, my goal is not to win a race.  I never will.  I’m not fast enough.  And I am perfectly OK with that!  So why do I sometimes start feeling less than when I look at the winners’ times and my own?  When I do, it’s a reminder to give myself a mental confidence and self-esteem boost.  My goal is not to beat someone else, it’s to improve my own performance and have fun.
  2.  Constantly comparing yourself to other runners can suck all the fun out.  Why do something that you don’t find (on at least some level) enjoyable?  Even if your goal is to win and beat all the other runners, if that is your ONLY focus, it won’t happen because you won’t stick with it.  There needs to be a personal motivation that isn’t based on anyone else.
  3.  It can devalue your own accomplishments.  Just because someone else is running a full marathon, it doesn’t make completing a 5k less of a feat.  I remember when I participated in my first official 5k.  I had a friend’s 5k time as my goal.  I didn’t reach it.  At first, I was really, really disappointed in myself.  Then, I realized, I still did it.  I still completed a 5k and that was something to be proud of.  Who cares if others ran it faster than I did?  It didn’t change the fact that I completed it!

Gaining inspiration from other runners can be incredibly motivating.  It’s just important to use this inspiration in a mentally positive way!

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