Itsnotaboutrunning By Dr. Steve Connor

As Connor’s Runners, We Believe That:

No one runner is more important than any other. We support each other, always.
When we train together, we ALL benefit. Sometimes other runners push us from behind, other times runners pull us from out front; but ALL of the time other runners will make us accountable for our actions and get us to put our shoes on.

We ALL need help staying motivated to train for endurance events. The knowledge and support that we need will come from many avenues within the group, including speakers, emails, other runners and the best teacher of all – Experience.

PERFECT PRACTICE makes PERFECT. We train in ways that simulate the demands that our bodies and minds will endure on race day so that we know what to expect, how to react or to control ourselves, and what we need for fuel and support to be successful.

Success is more than a number on a watch or those letters beside the number – like PB, PW, BQ and DNF. Success in running is found in achieving a goal; that goal can be a time, a distance, a pace, a medal, feeling strong, helping others to achieve their success, learning from mistakes or even starting back to running after an injury. It ALL matters, and it forms the basis of the success of this group. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Our success will come when we commit to developing our weaknesses but not at the expense of our strengths.

Watch-free runs in training really do make us better runners. Too many runners are tied to what their GPS watch tells them. Your watch is a great tool, but listening to your body while running has become a lost art; Connor’s Runners train to get that back. More often than not, your GPS Watch is slowing you down and holding you back from testing your true limits. Trust the process.

The 2K Push. The feeling in your legs near the end of your long run, when your legs are at their most fatigued, is really, really hard to recreate at any other time in training, so we take advantage of it. We increase our effort for the last 2K of the run so that we can draw upon that physical and mental strength on race day.

Mental strength is NOT an overstated commodity in endurance events. Mental strength can come from being in control of the factors you have the ability to control, and being confident in your abilities despite the factors that are beyond your control. This is a skill that is acquired in training – BEFORE race day.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) really works to get us in better fitness for meeting our race day goals. This is cutting edge training that is being used in many endurance sport disciplines to decrease training volume without negatively impacting performance, and with a positive side effect of reducing exposure to overuse injuries. We rarely schedule 6 runs per week. We choose quality runs followed by adequate recovery rather than quantity of miles.

Opportunities are everywhere. Hills are opportunities to get stronger. Intervals are opportunities to get faster. In-season races are opportunities to get smarter. 16K Specials are opportunities to build your mental toughness and build camaraderie. Downhill running is an opportunity to gain on your competitors. Cross training is an opportunity to reduce injuries. Bonking in a race is an opportunity to see where your limits are and an opportunity to learn from your miscalculations.

Running with Mario is an opportunity to run with Greatness.

We challenge each other to push harder, to get stronger, and to be better racers. We support each other when we are having a tough run, and celebrate each other when we are having a good one. We are all part of the same team. At races, we make people ask about Connor’s Runners by having fun, running hard, and always, always, always, running with an Attitude of Gratitude.

We wear a common colour for others, not for ourselves. We are members of a larger community and as ambassadors of our sport, we are respectful of others on the roads including runners, bikers and drivers. We wear Orange on race day so that others can cheer for us and give us their energy to finish strong.

No matter how much good we do, we can always do more. We celebrate our achievements, our experiences, our stories as ‘Moments of Awesomeness’. These moments warrant sharing them with others in the group and others in our greater community. This is how the ‘Jar of Awesomeness’ was born. The Jar represents us sharing our Moments of Awesomeness with others who could use some of it in their own lives.

We are runners, even when we are not running. Not all of us can run ultras, marathons or half marathons. Not all of us will run faster than we ever have before. We are not guaranteed ideal race conditions, and we may not be able to avoid injury this season. What we can ALWAYS do, is BE AWESOME.
Dr.Steve - Connors Runners