Every Step Counts
When you're a track and field athlete we learn that every second, every millisecond, and every inch counts. As a distance runner I've been in a race where .20 separates first from sixth and it's not very fun when your that person that got sixth. I'm not writing this post to talk about racing but to talk about practice. Yes, I'm talking about practice. You would think that practice doesn't dictate what time separates you from one spot to the next but it does. Those day where you're running intervals and coach says run through the line, why do you think he's saying that? Is it just for good fortune, or perhaps he's just trying to make you hurt a little longer. Nope, sure isn't either of those and I've learned this the hard way.
As it is cross country season and not track, time really isn't a stress here, however if you slow up before the line in a cross country race you just lost two spots for team. Sucks huh? I've witnessed theses last two weeks that my kids I help coach are not running through the line at practice. It kills me to see it, because why are you going to give up the last couple steps? What does that do in preparation for the race? This just builds habits that you don't want on race day. You begin with giving up before the line, than it becomes giving up through out the race.
Don't become accustom to giving up. Running through the line, hitting every given time in practice only prepares you for the next big things. Be excited that the habits your practicing with are going to turn out to be great things on race day. I wanted to write this so everyone out there knows that every step you take at practice makes a difference. Even if you don't see it in your first race or in workouts after, you will see the rewards. Be patient and understand that your body will give you the results when your ready.
Now go out, have fun doing what you love and get through practice with a smile today. Believe me it will help to have a smile rather than a frown.