How Lenten Practices Can Improve Running
Today is the last day of Lent. Many Christians take this season (40 days plus 6 Sundays) to abstain from something. At first, the practice was that people were supposed to not eat anything that had to be killed to be eaten (aka you couldn’t eat meat). Then it moved to even the byproducts of those animals. Eventually, though, the standards relaxed and it’s not something required anymore.
Two of the big lessons that people learn, or maybe can learn, from this time of Lent is contentment and patience. In running, these two virtues are vital for healthy training and improvement.
Contentment allows us to take each run as it is. Not every run is going to be a PR, but some runs might. Contentment also takes into account that our best today looks different than our best last week or next month. Contentment doesn’t force false ideas or realistic standards on each and every run. It doesn’t mean that things are perfect the way they are, but lets each moment be what it will be.
Patience allows us to slowly, safely improve instead pushing too hard and being injured. It’s true that our best fluctuates and patience says it’s okay. Patience looks at the big picture, allowing change over time rather than assuming it has to happen immediately.
As we train, race, recover, or live, remember that patience and contentment are essential. You can improve and enjoy running without it, but I know that my life improves when I learn to be content and patient. I’m guessing I’m not alone in that.
Happy Easter, everyone!