TotR | Best running advice you’ve received

It’s time for another Tuesdays on the Run post and the question that we’re addressing today is “what is the best running advice you’ve received?”.

I think the best running advice – or advice in general when it comes to competitive sports –  I have ever received is that you have to run your own race and be the best runner YOU can be.

There is really no use (or point or reason) to compare yourself with other runners, although I am all too aware that we all tend to do that from time to time. It’s hard not to.

Not playing the comparison game was easier when I just ran occasionally as one (of many) types of leisure exercise. I didn’t pay attention to pace or distances much. The competitiveness started to come out when I committed to my first training plan and then signed up for a race. I mean, if you sign up for a race, how can you not compare your training and pace to others?  It’s what you do.

A race, of course, is a competition, so you’ll want to try to perform your best and possibly “win”. What that really means though is NOT crossing the finish line first (although for some people that might be their goal and their reality), but crossing that finish line at all and striving to achieve your personal best.

But here’s the thing: we are all on our own journeys.  You might be running for years or just started out. You might be a natural runner or someone who has to work hard for every mile. There are sprinters and endurance runners. Professional athletes and amateurs.  You can not compare chapter 2 of your journey to someone else’s chapter 20.

I am always trying to remember that. I sometimes get discouraged when I see other people post their race times or training paces. They complain of “having a slow run” when they’re running a pace that I could only dream of right now. But I also know that my pace might seem fast to someone else.  It’s really all a matter of perspective, because I know that I can achieve progress and that I have gotten faster in the comparatively short time that I’ve been running. That is what I should focus on.

So, have fun, run your own race, compete with yourself, beat your own records, because this is the only way you can really win. That’s the best running advice I have received and pass on to others.

This week, I am linking up with Erika, Patty and Marcia  for Tuesdays on the Run again.


  1. Preach! Never compare yourself.

  2. Great advise. As much as I hear that advise it is still so hard to compare yourself to others. Just do the best you can and that is all you can ask for:)

  3. I try to be careful about not characterizing my runs as ‘slow’ because I know that it can be a bit defeating for other runners that would love to run at my pace. That’s not to say I can’t be disappointed in the pace of training runs, I just try to be careful about how I phrase it. So instead of saying it was a slow run, I would say it was slower than I was hoping to run.

    There are 2 pieces of advice I’ve gotten that have really stuck with me. First piece of advice is to make sure you are implementing cross training into your training schedule because that will help prevent injuries. The second piece of advice is to trust your training program. That was something I really struggled with when I was training to run a sub-2 hour half. So many of the training runs felt so hard and when I was struggling to hold race pace for a 4 mile tempo run, I really questioned how I could hold that pace for 13.1 miles. But the coaches in my run club just kept telling me to trust them and to trust the training plan. And they were right because I did hold that pace for 13.1 miles on race day!

  4. When I consider all the masters and elite runners in this world (or even in my city) with their 5-7 minute paces, I know that realistically I’ll never get there. That helps keep things in perspective. At some point, no amount of training can overcome genetics. I do compete with myself though. I know what I’m capable of so I always keep that in the back of my head on my days when I feel like I just can’t take another step.

  5. Definitely true! I can’t agree more. Running is for ourselves, not for comparing with anyone else. Thank you for sharing your thought with us. I really appreciate it.

  6. Yes. I absolutely agree with you. We can apply the motto “run your own race and be the best runner you can be” to all of circumstances. Hope you always keep your spirit!

  7. LOVE THIS! It is so hard not to compare, but how can you be disappointed when you are constantly improving yourself? I’ll have to do a Tuesday on the Run next week! Love this idea.

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