Running is very similar to Taoism; an Eastern philosophical and religious tradition that originated in China around 500 B.C.  Like Buddhism, there is a big emphasis on connecting with the universe to control your desires. 

So, back to my point, Taoism is like running. Both are simple and complex. It is complex when we try to understand it and simple when we allow ourselves to experience it. 

Leading up to your race you have logged a ton of miles.  You ran even if that meant braving the freezing cold and sideways rain.  You even endured and overcame injury while preparing to accomplish your goal.  Now the race is upon you.  

All of the work is done; all you have to do now is experience the run.

Taoism suggests that we let go of our ego and free ourselves from attachment to fixed ideas. Applying this concept to your race, it will serve you well to let go of the negativity that sets in as you approach the starting line or the self-doubt that creeps up around mile marker 18.  

Remind yourself, through self-speak, that all of your training has prepared you for the mixed bag of emotions you are encountering.  The pleasure and pain, the joy and doubt are all part of experiencing the run. 

Remove the tension from this situation by freeing yourself from the self-imposed pessimism.  “Concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think. Use your instincts.”  You have encountered these demons before and have dominated them in the past, surly you are capable of doing the same in this moment. 

So, as you prepare for and live your race, keep Tao of Running in mind…

Be true to yourself, trust in your training, be present in the moment. 

Your body knows what to do, one foot in front of the other; deep breathe in through the nose and out of the mouth.  All you have to do is, as Taoism suggests, rely on yourself to empower action. 

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