This morning as I ran around the neighborhood I felt myself pushing to keep up the pace. I'm not the fastest runner out there, so as I strive to improve my strategy has been to take my usual workouts, then build on them so they are longer and faster.
Pushing to go faster this morning did not come easily, as it can on some days. As my mind registered this, I thought of an article read just yesterday via Chris McDougall's blog - it was a short piece he wrote for Outside magazine entitled Christopher McDougall's Top 4 Running Tips.
McDougall provides 4 good tips (listed in reverse order from 4-1) but it was the last that stayed with me, as it did when I read it for the first time in his book.
For his #1 tip, McDougall refers to advice he was given by Caballo Blanco, the "White Horse" he met on his travels in the Copper Canyons - McDougall refers to this as one of first and most lasting lessons he was taught.
"The problem with most people is they only care about getting fast, and think that once they get fast, running will get easy. They got it backwards." said Caballo. "First focus on getting easy, because if that's all you get, that ain't so bad. Once you can run easy, focus on light. Once you get light, focus on smooth. By the time you're easy, light and smooth, you won't have to worry about getting fast--you will be."
This morning as I ran, I thought about easy, light, and smooth... and pretty soon after that, I started feeling it.
And then I began to feel more fast... but still easy, light, and smooth.
And that was good enough for today.