The Importance Of A Fast Run Mindset

I have had over the years rare opportunities to run with athletes who had the fast run mind set.

What exactly is the difference between a good runner and a great athlete.

I firmly believe that everyone is great in their own right. To sit back and judge is not worth anyone’s time or energy.

We all have opinions of what we think ‘greatness’ is. Greatness is making the most of the time you have and give 100% effort toward your goal.

That is being great.

It doesn’t mean you have to hit a 2.10 marathon, 60 minute half or 13.00 5K to have worth.

It means knowing with all certainty you are giving every once of effort toward a goal and using your utmost mental and physical capabilities to reach it.

Steve Prefontaine said it best back in the 70′s, ‘to give anything less then your best, is to sacrifice the gift‘.

Do you have a fast run mind set? Are you seeking to learn how to run fast and get over the performance stagnation?

I have seen runners with such an incredible mind set to run fast that they clearly have put themselves in another realm of athleticism. I named this site Run..Dream…Achieve for that very reason.


Runners around the world already know what it takes to run fast.

They just need, at times but not always, the guidance to get that fast run mind set. They are told doing long slow distance is the way to go and are spending too much time at far too low of an aerobic level to achieve the specific goal race times they seek.

Running easy is certainly important and if we are talking about gaining fitness, burning fat or losing weight it cannot be more important.

These are all honorable reasons to want to run slow but as runners become more in tune with their bodies and understand the biomechanics that go into a great performance, more is involved on the part of the athlete.

Running fast is a mindset you have to have to have in order to get to a new level in your training and racing.

If you are a 5 hour marathoner what must be done to become a 4 hour marathoner? Look at the paces one must hold to go from one level (11.27 pace) to the next (9.09 pace).

If I were coaching a 5 hour marathoner seeking to become a 4 hour marathoner meaning 4.00.00 I would have his or her training revolved around gradual progression to 9.09 pace.

This could be in the form of hard fartleks branching out to longer durations to running sprints up hills at paces that are far below even 9.09 pace.

It would be highly stressful on the part of that athlete but if an athlete is willing to sweat, blood and go through hell for their goal he or she is going to make it happen.

Do genetics play a part?

Absolutely.

Can a 5 hour marathoner ever become a 2.05 marathoner?

The cards are stacked against that athlete for many different reasons but you don’t have to be world-class athlete to not have the fast run mind set.

Runners have so much potential.

I believe there are countless champions out in the world who are going to make massive improvements in their running because they have the tools of the trade and one of the most dangerous attributes of the human spirit is belief and desire.

Belief and desire will never be able to be measured on a McMillan or any other pace chart.

Greg McMillan is a great coach and 2.31 marathoner but even he is experienced enough to know these two characteristics cannot be determined.

My best ten-mile, 50.54, is still ‘only’ equivalent to a 2.22.53 marathon and 1.07.54 half-marathon. It is pretty close to the best I have run for the half-marathon (1.07.06) but not close in comparison to my fastest marathon (2.19.35).

It is up to the athlete to determine how good they want to be. No one was holding my hand telling me to get out and train in the bitter cold Colorado mornings. That was up to me. A sub 2.22.00 marathon time, something I dreamed about when I was a junior in college, wasn’t going to fall in my lap.

Desire cannot be taught in a classroom.

Sure, the desire to want something can be talked about but ultimately it is up to the athlete to make that goal come into being.

I talk a lot about my struggles here on rundreamachieve and my successes for the specific purpose of inspiring my readers to get into that fast run mind set. The mindset where regardless what obstacles you or I may face, we won’t back down, we won’t let up until the goal is accomplished.

You have to experience in training what you hope to achieve in the race. This is fact and cannot be understated. Regardless what your goal is, it could be a fitness goal, a 5K to marathon goal time or just wanting to learn how to run faster, you have to get motivated about it.

If you have a goal 5K time in mind and you know the pace you want to hit then pushing your anaerobic limits is key. Your mindset has to be hard wired for speed and stamina.

We all know how to run easy.

It doesn’t take a great deal of effort or skill. Running fast and having a mindset that differs from those seeking easy running is the game changer.

It does not make you or I any better then athletes who run for enjoyment and fitness. This certainly has its place. Not enough people value their health and easy running is about the best thing you can do to achieve better health.

There are three things in life more valuable then anything. Family, Health and Time yet wouldn’t it be safe to say there are people who may be more concerned with the next reality television show on their schedule then to get out the door to walk for 10 minutes?

A fast run mind set is one that challenges your beliefs about yourself. It challenges your bodies systems every time you get out the door to do a hard road tempo or track workout. It is the dividing factor between wanting to run well and seeking to run great.

If you have had something on your mind stopping you or want to share any of your experiences I encourage you to leave a comment, visit the forum or facebook family page and tell me about it.

I don’t want a ‘fan’ page. Family sounds better and means more to me.

About Nathan Pennington

Nathan Pennington

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