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You should practice a runner's most important skill every day

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices. ”

— Epictetus

This quote embodies the runner's most important skill: distinguishing what is under your control and what is not

Runners are actually fairly good at this skill and the process happens almost naturally a lot of time.

Of course, this skill can always be improved upon and you should try to improve upon it everyday.

Here are 4 common situations that are not under your control and here are some methods on how you can simply respond:

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Problem:
You have a hard workout scheduled for today -- but you are not fully recovered from your last workout.

Response:
Easy! You should drop a few reps off the tail end of the workout so you do not over stress yourself and risk disrupting workouts in the future.

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Problem:
A runner throws down a totally unnecessary and unexpected surge mid race -- which subsequently and unconsciously causes every other nearby runner to follow them in step

Response:
Be aware of this, stick to your pacing plan, ignore the herd, and trust that they are outrunning their capability while you stick within yours.

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Problem:
The weather station's prediction was wrong -- and race day is a lot hotter than predicted.

Response:
You should adjust your expectations before the race starts, not when you are drenched in sweat and gasping for air mid-race. You never want to be pushing yourself to reach an unrealistic time.

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Problem:
The course profile did not do an accurate job of describing how many and how steep the hills are -- so you are woefully underprepared for the climbs and descents.

Response:
Your best choice is to play to your strengths in a situation like this. You should slow way down on the hills and treat these sections as active recovery time. Instead of executing an iso-pacing strategy, you can afford to push a bit harder on the flats to make up the time given up elsewhere.

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You can't control what challenges that running will throw at you, but you can always choose how you respond to those challenges.

At its heart, that is what Stryd helps you do.

Stryd's data help you make the right decision on how to respond.

With Stryd's stress scoring system, you will understand that you cannot magically recover quicker but you will be smart to decrease your training load and not burn yourself out with too many hard workouts.

With Stryd's power-pacing, you will understand you can't help others pace their race but you can ensure that you will never fall for misguided surges mid-race.

With environmental adjustments to your power target, you will understand that you can't control how hot the weather is but you can you aim for targets within your capability.

With Stryd's power value, you will understand you can't flatten the course but you can smartly pace any kind of hilly race.

Be sure to always make the smart response to any kind of challenge.

If you want data to help you make these decisions, you can get Stryd here:

https://store.stryd.com/

Angus Nelson

Angus Nelson

Angus is a cofounder of Stryd. He has trained for and raced every distance from 50 meters to Half Ironman & is pushing the run power revolution forward!

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