Natural running, or minimalist running, is a whole new commitment to running for me. Running was always something that was kind of easy and just something I enjoyed. I jumped into races just for fun, even a marathon, with no training... When I started making the transition to natural running, running definitely became more of a challenge to me. Which, actually made it enjoyable in a different way.
The thing about minimalist or natural running, is that it requires you to be committed. It requires you to be patient. It requires you to listen to your body. It requires you to know your body. And it requires mental toughness.
Instead of stopping when your hip starts nagging half a mile in, it requires listening to your body and understanding why your hip hurts. Did I start to fast or did I warm up enough? Am I compensating somehow? Instead of thinking that soreness is pain, I must get used to soreness- and take care of my body (warm up, stretch, massage) - then learn to recognize real pain (but obviously not ignore real pain).
It’s also easy to blame a not great run, or a nagging pain or anything on my new natural style of running, when in reality, I’ve always had pains, bad runs, or injuries when running in my old clunky running shoes. Excuses don’t help me improve my running form, practice does.
Although I’m super excited for my next race in my new minimalist, natural shoes - for now my biggest challenge is patience and commitment as I transition. And though there are no PRs, or medals for completing it, it will be a very big victory for me personally. I’m enjoying the challenge of my journey so far.
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