Five Jedi Maxims to Make You a Better Runner

Written by: Jonny Stevens

star wars running

It’s finally here! Star Wars: The Force Awakens had its world premiere this week and tonight at midnight it’s available to the public. We are going to watch it 8 or 9 times and will probably have our whole outlook on life changed so we thought we’d look back on the Original Trilogy and see what lessons Han, Leia, Luke and crew imparted on us the first time around.

 

1. No Such Thing as Bad Weather

 

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. You go out for a run from Echo Base and don’t bring your mittens…you’re in trouble.

 

Running on Hoth
Damn I forgot my Yaktrax!

 

There’s something to be said for eschewing the treadmill and braving the elements.  You need to make sure you’re not getting frostbite or hypothermia, but a brisk 20 degree long run is one of the best feelings in the world. Be smart about it, cover your ears and nose as best you can and make sure you’re not invisible to cars on icy roads.

Running on cold days with friends or teammates makes it that much easier, everyone is out there in those conditions and they can give you a little more motivation. Plus if it gets really cold you can cut open the slowest person belly to warm up.

 

Running in snow
And I thought runners smelled bad on the outside!

 

2. Trust the Force (Your Training)

 

 

A few nerves are normal right before a race. While that extra bit of adrenaline can help, it’s important not to let nervousness shut you down mid-race. Everyone hits a point in their run where they start doubting themselves or their preparedness and it can be the difference between blowing up or setting a big PR.

As Obi-Wan says “Let go”. You know what your training was like, and it’s important to trust the process. Focus on the things that have gone right in the lead up to your race and draw confidence in the fact that you are ready to run!

You don’t need fancy targeting computers (HR monitors and GPS watches) to tell you when to make a move or to lean at the line. Know that you are strong and all it takes is one chance to have a break through.

 

3. Don’t Rush Back From Injury

 

Injuries suck. But the hardest part is being patient in your recovery. Like Han coming out of  carbonite, you are likely to have a bit of hibernation sickness. It’s tempting to jump back in as soon as you are feeling a little better, but you need to give your body time you fix itself. Going into battle blind against the galaxy’s top bounty hunter isn’t normally going to work out. Likewise jumping into 90 mile weeks fresh off an overuse injury is far more likely to end in a trip to the Sarlacc pit (training room) digesting for 1,000 years (cross training) than a good season of racing.

 

 

There are some people who are incredibly lucky (Han) or genetic freaks (Dathan Ritzenheim) who can compete at a high level right after an interruption in training. Most of us are not like that. Be smart, be patient, and make sure your hyper drive is in working condition before trying to out run Imperials.

 

Han and Chewie Rehabbing the Falcon
Wait, you said “Eccentric calf raises?”

 

4. The Lando Calrissian Rule

 

Plain and simple: Look good, Feel Good. Whether you’re showing up to a race or training run, if you are decked out in stylish duds, you get a little bit faster. Even if it’s only in your head.

 

Billy Dee as Lando
Wanna race?

 

That extra bit of confidence, the kind that let’s you hit on your old buddy’s Princess girlfriend right before handing them over to a Sith Lord, is what tells people on the start line not to mess with you. They see you in your brand new kit and think to themselves “There’s no way I’m gonna be able to hang with this guy.” You’ve got an advantage before the race even starts.

Lando’s cape got him promoted from traitor to General in the Rebel Alliance. Imagine what looking good can do for you?

 

5. Just Do It

 

You knew this one was coming. Yoda says

 

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

There’s probably no better motivational quote in either trilogy. Running is about consistency and just getting out the door is a big part of training. Sometimes it’s snowing, sometimes you didn’t get enough sleep. But you have to get out and go for your run. Saying you’re going to run 4,000 miles this year seems like you’re asking the impossible. But keep at it, run whenever you get the chance and you’ll get there.

 

Above all let’s remember running is fun! It makes us feel good. So good we could dance!

Jonny Stevens is a skier and hockey player who got tricked into doing cross country as a freshman in high school. After running for the University of Colorado for 5 years he returned to the mountains and worked for a non-profit while tricking freshmen into running xc at his alma mater. Then he was lured back to Boulder by the chance to work for run2run.

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