3 Take-A-Ways from an Ultra Runner

20 years ago as I soldier, I could run at a 6:30 minute-a-mile pace for about 20-30 minutes. It wasn’t great, but it was a whole lot better than what I can do now. I don’t know if I will ever be able to hold that pace again, though I going to work toward it. Today, I did 6 intervals at that pace for a little over a minute and a half. I have a long ways to go.


On occasion, my mind is firing with all kinds of thoughts while I am running. If I am lucky, I can remember one or two of them after the run is over. Today, I was fortunate to remember a few of them thanks to a Fathering Podcast I listened to yesterday evening. On the March 15, 2019 episode: The Ultra Running Mindset with Rob Irr, Rob mentioned his three biggest take-a-ways from running:

  • You can always give a little extra. There is always more in the tank. This became my mantra as I got near the end of each interval. Push a little harder. You’ve got more. Get to the end. The temptation is always there to pull up a little short. But even though my body may still reap some benefits from a shortened workout, my mind will not. Pulling up short will not help me overcome adversity in the future. If I start making allowances for not getting to the end in running, where else will I make allowances in life?

There is no person living who isn’t capable of doing more than they think they can do. –Henry Ford

  • Whatever you practice on consistently, you will get better. I want to run faster. How do I do it? I practice running faster. I don’t think there is any other way to put it. Want to do hard stuff? Then practice doing hard stuff. Do you want to make better food choices? Make better choices. Don’t buy the garbage to begin with. Don’t put yourself into a situation where your diet can be compromised. Tell your friends and family that you want to eat better. Ask them to hold you accountable.

Once you recognize that you are off the path, then you should only have one objective. Get back on the path.

The only way I can improve on anything is through consistent practice. It is the message I tell my son. It is the message I tell myself daily. Practice. And then practice some more.

Practice, the master of all things. –Augustus Octavius

  • Sticking with it. Rob’s final point was to finish the race. He talked about seeing some competitors nearly completing the race but being unable to finish. It led me to my own question: Can I finish? Can I finish the training? Can I finish the races I sign up for? All the things I set out to do, the goals, the dreams, the higher quest I feel like I am on, can I finish?

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending. –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

These are the life principles of an athlete who has the ability to run races over a hundred miles. They are principles that go beyond running and can be applied to any endeavor we choose to pursue. Its effect on me was almost immediate. I hope the value extends to the reader as well.


I have been running with the Charity Miles App for a little over a year as a member of the #0445Club. If you are a runner or a walker, consider downloading the app. It is a great way to support a wide variety of charities around the world.

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