Instant Gratification

Okay, this is aimed at beginners and intermediate runners, whether you’re running just to improve your running or whether you use running it as part of a training for other adventures, etc. And what I’m going to talk about now is the relationship between running and children eating sweets. You might be thinking, “Joe, that’s very obtuse, what are you talking about?”

Many years ago, there was a study that was done where they put kids in a room with some sweets, and then the people, the scientists left the room, and they basically saw when they told the kids not to eat the sweets, and they saw who could manage to not eat the sweets. And who couldn’t, you know, who, that who ate the sweets as soon as their backs were turned.

I bet many of you now think, you know, I would have been one of those kids who ate the sweets. Anyway, they were they followed these kids, and they followed them all the way through and as they grew up. And what’s interesting is the ones who actually managed to resist the instant gratification of eating the sweets, were the ones who performed better at life, and better in general.

What has this got to do with running? So my bookshelf at home amongst many, many other books, amongst all the books on running, running coaching, everything from trail running, and ultra running to books on athletic performance, etc. In the endurance world, there is one very, very, very commonly understood principle. And that is the benefit of building a base, running slow to run faster, building your aerobic engine. And you may have heard me talk about it many times before, as well.

Virtually every single book out there by any credible sport scientist, runner, coach, etc, actually states about this and says the importance of building the base. And yet, when I talk to my clients, when I talk to the general public, the beginners, especially the beginners, and the the intermediates, the ones who are saying, Oh, I’m not, I’d I just don’t seem to improve, I’m just not getting improvements, etc. And I find they’re like the kids who ate the sweets. They can’t get past the fact that they just need to do what they need to do follow the advice. And wait, because it is a slow process for them to get the results. You know, they just want the instant gratification.

You know, we know that when we run hard, we feel good, we get a sweat on. And so that when we do the long and slow, because it’s done at a pace that you could talk conversationally, etc. We don’t feel as if it’s doing us any good. But in actual fact, it is it’s doing us the best good because we really … (best good without good English, don’t think so)… we really, really need to build the base, build the base, you need to spend 80% of your running time building that base, building that foundation.

Now I can talk till I’m blue in the face, and there’s still a load of you going, “Oh, I just it doesn’t work for me,” etc. ” I’m just going too slow”. “If I kept my heart rate so low, I had to stop”. Just stick with it. Every single person, every single person that I’ve worked with who has actually buckled down and stuck with it delayed that gratification, has seen awesome improvements. And it’s the ones who don’t they just give it a couple of weeks or “I can’t do this” and “then I just had to go for a run. I just had to I just had to let loose and just had to”, you know, they’re the ones who don’t get the results. And in a year’s time, two years time, they’re still doing the same.

You know, take a season out, just follow the rules. Just do it. Build your base. I can’t stress how important. Don’t be that kid in the room, munching on the sweet who couldn’t delay gratification and when the reward of getting extra sweets at the end. Just because you wanted to do that now unless of course If you don’t really care about improving, if you are this does have validity if you’re just running for the sake of running, go for life, do what you want.

But if deep down you want to improve and if you could feel it it improve other areas of your athleticism. Okay?

Build your base.

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