It had struck me how few people look like they are enjoying themselves when out for a run or walk. So, I decided to perform a little, and not at all scientific, experiment; what would happen if I kept a big smile on my face for my entire run?
During the run, I encountered quite a few people; most of the runners looked like they were in severe pain and regretting ever putting on their shoes, and the walkers were very serious! Sometimes it takes a while before the person “receiving” the smile registers it, so I paid most of my attention to the people I met twice on the out-and-back route. I would say the result was significant. More people were smiling back the second time around, and at the very least they were less sulky when they saw me again.
However, the most positive and significant difference, was what I felt within myself. Even though I was running at close to my threshold pace, I could keep the energy high the whole way, and felt great. How much of it was due to this little experiment, I don’t know, but I definitely believe it adds a couple of percent to the performance by keeping a positive attitude. At least, it made me feel better – and that is why we practice in the first place!
Enjoy your next run, and keep a smile on your face!