Every step you take in training is like putting money in the bank. You've probably heard this common analogy numerous times throughout our running life. It’s a great way for runners to wrap their heads around the value delivered by lacing up our shoes and heading out the door even when they just aren’t very motivated to do so. It’s about comprehending how hard work now will pay off in the long run. As with any investment, though, it must be done wisely. Here are some tips on how to maximize your investment.
Firstly, while the big picture involves you putting money in the bank, your daily runs are paid for with cash in hand. If you invested a lot of money yesterday (or last week) you’re not going to have as much cash available today (or this week). Long days and hard workouts are big investments that won't leave you capable of making the same size deposit tomorrow - and that's okay.
Secondly, to achieve the greatest gain you have to invest for the long haul. Just as there are no risk-free "get rich quick" schemes, there are no real secrets to running. If it sounds too good to be true (Cut Your 5k PR in Half in 5 Days!), then it probably is. As John L Parker Jr. wrote in Once a Runner, “You don’t become a runner by winning a morning workout. The only true way is to marshal the ferocity of your ambition over the course of many days, weeks, months, and (if you could finally come to accept it) years. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials.” As an investor in yourself, work to invest wisely and consistently in order to achieve the results you desire.
Finally, you need to avoid debt. Runners tend to be an overzealous lot and, as a result, often invest too much in running. As I’ve written about previously, keep in mind that there is a difference between maximum and optimum training and racing. If you invest/spend too much time and energy on running, you will risk going into debt, which will exhibit itself in the form of injuries, illnesses and unpleasant looks from your friends and family members.
There are no shortcuts to success. The correct path to seeing your training pay off is to invest the proper amounts wisely and consistently. As you stack training mile on top of training mile, your running net worth will continuously grow. Remember; don’t get too caught up in the day to day fluctuations of you running stock market. Follow these guidelines and you are sure to develop a sound running portfolio.
Good Luck and Happy Racing!