Workouts, a Runner’s Perspective

Something dawned on me this morning. Something so obvious, yet I hadn’t put it together in my head.


New runners, or runners who are speedy but still learning (who learned how to run after college or HS) do workouts wrong, and therefore that is why many avoid them.

I was one of those runners. I started running after college and the track I did do in high school was glorified babysitting. I think I had a different coach every year and it was someone conned into it to get a teaching position.

When I began doing workouts a few years ago, I mostly did them on the treadmill, which helped teach me pace. A little bit. Whenever I tried to do them on the track, I dreaded them because they often felt so hard. I convinced myself I could only do workouts on the treadmill.

Then I began working out with my teammates, Chelsea and Bailey…and they paid attention to their watch instead of just going hard. I just followed them, and today it dawned on me. I used to not like long workouts because I went too hard for each rep. I thought that’s what you do at the track, and that’s what we did in high school.

New runners do this too often, I think, or at least I did, and it kept me from appropriate workouts for a long time. I’d go too hard and get injured or burnt out. I just didn’t understand how they could do their workouts outside.

Then I showed up. I just decided to try it with them, with no expectations. And now I can finish. I can do multiple reps of 2k, 5k and if I pace them correctly, it’s hard but I can finish. Sometimes even faster than I thought possible.

I feel compelled to write about this, because showing up is hard for me. I’m content with a podcast and the open road. I enjoy my time. I was also afraid. These women are legit. My imposter syndrome tells me I’m not.

You know what, I’m not going to tell you I’m just as good as them, because they are faster. But I’m getting these. I don’t finish too far behind. Some days, I struggle, but they do too. I’m not slowing anyone down, because they don’t wait. That’s the beauty of a track or a group workout. We’re working hard in a similar way, and I just have to chase.

I’m lucky in a sense, I know I can chase faster people and get faster. My teammates will pull me along, without holding themselves back.

Workouts aren’t scary anymore. I don’t get overly fatigued from going too fast. They’re now my favorite day of the week.

Ellie Pell