???? Credit: Reuters

‘Running isn’t easy’. 

Watch Eliud Kipchoge at the end of his sub 2 hour marathon and you’d think it was. 

Striding elegantly down the final 100m, wearing a huge smile and waving to the adulation of the roaring crowd. 

‘He’s just run a marathon, broke the world record and look how easy it is, even at the end’. 

But, ‘Running isn’t easy’.

Not even for Kipchoge. Not even at the end of that marathon as he strides, smiles and waves. 

Runners at any level can be the best poker players. Wearing that poker face. But, inside they are in much pain as all of us as our legs burn and scream.

There is a misconception that elite running is easy and for everyone else it is not. Where is the line what classifies elite and non-elite? And where is the line that classifies easy and not. 

‘Running isn’t easy’. 

‘Running can be easy’. 

And it can be for anyone. And when it is box it, wrap it and put a ribbon round it. 

Running hard intense efforts can feel easy; running recovery runs can be hard. There is a fine balance. 

We need to listen to our bodies and our mind. The messages it is sending us. Hard can be the challenge of getting out the door after a stressful day which blends into the run. Easy can be that effortless interval session where you worked hard but glided through each rep. 

There is no such thing as easy pace, but rather easy effort. Pace is relative to so many intrinisc and extrinsic factors. 

If everything feels hard – efforts, steady runs, long runs – then you there is an imbalance somewhere. Life, recovery, intensity, stressors. 

This is why it is important to have a good support network. A coach, a friend, a mentor. Someone you can bounce off, be objective. 

We choose to run. So why not love it. It isn’t easy most of the time. Part of the choice is the challenge. 

Those poker players, let them hide their pain. Those gurners, celebrate your effort. 

We train to run better and make it look easier.

All runners have hard days, steady days and really good days. 

Love your great days. Embrace those challenging ones.

‘Running isn’t easy’.

If it was, everyone would be doing it. You do it. Good on you. It is hard. It is challenging. So well done to you!