A Run Coach Muses About the Joy of Running

Emilio Flores
by Emilio Flores
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A Run Coach Muses About the Joy of Running

What if? …

What if I said to you: “A thousand miles journey starts with the first step” (Chinese proverb).

And told you it is totally true — at least it was for me.

That has been my journey with running, I remember running as a kid in Mexico to play, to escape and for soccer. Soccer is big in Mexico, so we had to run. But as I grew older I realized if I asked this question to myself:

“What if — in running — I could go places I would never have imagined before?”

I started by asking what if … I run to the next corner; then what if … I go to the next two corners? With those small goals, I started completing distances that existed only in my mind.

The beauty of running is it not only takes you outside, but it also takes you on a journey inside your body and your mind.

I think one of the most valuable assets of running is the amount of mental work it takes. It is a journey between you and your limits, between the mind and the body. In my case, it helped me grow in ways I never thought.

Sometimes running is more of a meditation for me. It’s a place away from phone calls, an escape from the situation at hand. Running keeps me clear of mind; it allows me to make the best choices. Tracking my progress with MapMyRun and challenging myself with the “what if” question. What if … I try to get better, run longer, run smarter and use the tech in my favor?

The beauty of running is it all depends on the effort you put in. There’s no magic wand; it is pure work ethic and a commitment to yourself. Running for Under Armour allowed me to answer my “what if” question with the best technology and garments. I don’t need to worry about chafing, sweating or keeping myself cool. This has allowed me to keep thinking only about my inner challenge and not external factors.

READ MORE: Gratitude and Other Lessons Learned on the Bike During COVID-19

Today, the situation has become hard not only for me, but for everyone. This pandemic has made me think again: “What if?” Do I keep running to keep myself sane and composed? The answer has always been: Yes, go for it.

This much I know: Everything is going to be all right as long as running takes me places and my mind goes with it.

Now I ask: What is your what if?

Whether you want to run your first mile or set a PR, having a plan gets you there faster. Go to the MapMyRun app, tap “Training Plans” and set your next goal — you’ll get a schedule and coaching tips to help you crush it.

About the Author

Emilio Flores
Emilio Flores

Emilio is a coach, head advisor for running in Under Armour Latam and creator of an endurance company Even. He has written for Men’s Health, Runners World, Life and Style, and Triathlon magazine. He loves to help athletes to become better and to improve their own goals.

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