May 21, 2015

A Mile is a Mile is a Mile {Workout Comparisons}

A mile is a mile. It doesn't matter if you are a marathoner, a new runner, or record-setting Deena Kastor. No one's workout is better than someone else's. If you challenged yourself with a two mile run, that doesn't make it worse than someone who ran 12 the same day. While a mile as a distance is the same, everybody's miles are different. Everybody's workouts, bodies, and goals are different too.  

Sorry if this gets a little rant-y as I think out loud, this has just been a topic that has been on my mind recently. I find that it is so easy to play the comparison game with other people.  With a culture of over-sharing and social media it's easy to just see other people's mileage and workouts. Online there are lots of gym selfies, workout recaps on blogs, and #runbrags. 

How many photos of Garmin watch faces and heart rate monitors post-workout are posted online everyday?   

Sometimes that all can be motivating and creates a supportive community.  

However personally sometimes it causes me to doubt myself, especially since I follow so many inspiring athletes, fellow runners, and bloggers.  Stepping away from the fitness and blogger community I realize that many people would think it's crazy awesome just to work out 4-5 days a week like I do. 

I just  am friends with too many kickass people! 

I'll be out for a run at a slower pace than I wanted and feel badly about it. It's easy to get caught up in things like who ran how many miles today and how that person that passed you on your run is running way faster.  Maybe they are faster, more fit, or more experience than you. Then again, maybe you are just having an off day. 

running-faster-someecard
Sadly sometimes true. 

Or you look at someone's workout recaps or post-run Instagram and see that they ran double the miles you did, fit in my workouts, burned more calories, or lifted more than you did.  It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers game and compare weekly mileage, paces, weights, and calorie burns.  

It's not all online either. Maybe a friend said they were feeling a little tired or sore so they were taking it easy on your run together. Meanwhile your breathing is getting heavier as you struggle to keep up so now you feel like you must be out of shape or not as good of a runner. 

Then I just remember that my run is not the same as your run. Just like my race isn't the same as someone else's, even if we are running the exact same miles, course and distance-wise. Everybody is on their own journey.    

Your run or workout is different because you are different. Your sleep,your fitness, your eats, your mood, and what's going on in your life are all different and all differently affect your runs or workouts. 

Just because someone who is also training for the same race runs more miles than you doesn't mean that their training is better. Everybody's training can be different to fit your own needs. Just because someone worked out more days a week than you doesn't mean they are stronger or faster. 

It's important to remember that even if you ran the same race as someone, they did not have the same experience. You don't know how they were feeling, their thoughts, or what's going on in their lives that affected those miles. 

So guess what, getting your sweat on counts no matter what. 

Running 2 miles is better than no miles. Doing a 20 minute body-weight circuit in your living room because that's all you could fit in today is awesome. Deciding to start running and feeling accomplished when you can run a mile straight through is awesome. 

It's okay to get motivated by scrolling through your Instagram feed or following fitness blogs. It's okay to post your accomplishments or post-workout selfies when you are proud of yourself. Just remember that you don't need to prove anything to anyone. 

Your workouts are for you. 

your-miles-are-different1

Anybody else get caught up in the comparison game?  Do you find motivation from social media? 

This post was linked up to the Fit & Fashionable Friday Link-Up

34 comments:

  1. I seriously LOVE this post. Sometimes I get so caught up in what everyone around me is doing and occasionally feel like I didn't do enough. Or if I'm feeling sluggish on a run and my time isn't quite where I'd hope it would be, I feel ashamed and don't want to tell anyone or post about it. So ridiculous! I've made a conscious effort in the last few weeks to take a step back and realize that I am enough and my workouts are awesome, no matter what length, strength, or pace they're at. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much :) I feel exactly the same way. Especially as someone know by my friends as a runner and blogger, it's easy to feel embarrassed about runs or workouts, which is ridiculous.

      Delete
  2. This is very true. I'm one of those people. I post after every workout. after almost every run. I kind of stopped posting the paces and things like that because I found myself comparing my run to others. I really just want to promote getting active and not the distance, speed, weight...My workouts are for myself and the only person I need to prove anything to is myself. IT's easy to get wrapped up in the hype when you scroll through a FB or instagram and seeing people doing serious working out and sometimes I feel bad when I don't feel like working out and I see that. I guess we have to listen to ourselves and practice self control in many areas of life. You're always provoking thought with your posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so easy to compare and I think that's why I don't post every run with the pace and time or all my workouts for the week. Then I'm focused on the numbers and not me! Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  3. it's hard to shake sometimes, but i definitely know my limits and my capabilities and i'm happy about that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the most important thing!

      Delete
  4. Love this. I really had to reevaluate my own workouts/body because I got way too caught up in doing what everyone else is doing. I work out 4-5 days a week and I used to be ashamed of that, but now i know if I do any more I pay for it later in the form of another injury and that's not worth it. When I start marathon training, I know it's going to look very different from most people because I just can't handle the extra workouts and mileage. I'm comfortable where I'm at and that's all that matters. Some days my legs feel completely shot and I can't keep up with other people or running stairs feels way slower, but others I feel like I could run forever. I just have to follow my own plan and know I'm doing what's best for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl you've been killing it so keep doing what you're doing.

      Delete
  5. So true! I feel this way frequently - I'm a slower runner, and I hate when people post about their "slow day" and it's at a pace that I could never run on my fastest day! I also started a half marathon training weekly recap blog post, and while I love that it keeps me accountable, I have begun to worry if I'm not "doing enough" each week compared to others. But my body is tired, I'm getting faster and starting to run longer each week, and I'm so busy every day - so I know that I'm doing the best I can and should be proud of that. It's funny, one of my coworkers said I'm working out so much but compared to all my blogging friends I feel like I'm not, so clearly it's all relative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so hard-I think that's why I don't do workout weekly recaps regularly. I find I get comparison envy when I read other peoples.

      Delete
  6. What a great reminder! This is so important to remember. And I feel like we all go through phases with our running/training and we not be at our peak at the same time that someone else is, so its impossible to compare. There are also a million other things to take into consideration. It can be challenging to keep in mind this but its so important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely cyclical and you never know the whole story behind someone else!

      Delete
  7. Yes, soooo true! We are all on our own journey. No one is the same. We walk our own path. Sure, we can train together or have similar goals, but no one is the same. As lomg as you get off the couch and do your best, that's all that matters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with everything you said. At the end of the day, it's you vs. you.

      Delete
  8. Love this! I often have an "all or nothing" attitude when it comes to exercise. I need to remind myself that every little bit helps. I love your point about not having to prove yourself to anyone else. Very inspiring. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really hard to just do what you can instead of setting huge goals to hit it hard 7 days a week.

      Delete
  9. Great words! I did a blog post a couple months ago about who we should be "competing" against, which had a very similar angle. The comparison game is a thief to our own happiness and self worth....thanks for another reminder :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much-it's something so many of us battle with!

      Delete
  10. I agree with this completely. It saddens me about how much people often compete with each other. Everyone is running or doing whatever at their pace...it's still a workout. I stopped using the word "just" to quantify my workouts for this reason. I felt as if "just" to me could be someone else's hardest workout (similar to someone using just in their workouts). Anyways great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really hard and I've seen such an increase with social media because people can post about every meal, every run, every selfie. Ugh I fall into the "just 3 miles" talk sometimes. Sometimes those workouts are the hardest!

      Delete
  11. Your blog is so cute! And I love this post-- "Your run or workout is different because you are different." Amen to that. I know its easy to fall into the comparison trap, but it's just so silly and not worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love!!! I am just getting back into the fitness world, and I'm sure that my hardest workout is probably someone's workout, but that's ok! I still work hard every day and work on becoming better than I was yesterday.

    Jen@Jpabstfitness.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. All you can do is work hard and focus on your own progress!

      Delete
  13. Awesome post! I just wrote about not comparing yourself to others, too -- but on the subject of physical appearance. Such an important message in all subjects. Let's give each other some slack and just focus on ourselves. No reason to compete. We are all just living lives and doing our best. Let's pat each other on the back for everything each of us does!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. It's so easy to just get caught up ni comparisons. We are all awesome and doing the best we can!

      Delete
  14. Great post! I'm definitely guilty of comparing myself to others, but also to myself! I'm coming back form an injury and find myself getting frustrated because I can't run as far or as fast as I was pre-injury. It's frustrating, but I just have to remember it's the track I'm on now and I'll get back to where I was soon! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh I can't imagine how much it sucks coming back from an injury. You just have to trust you'll get where you used to be (and even stronger!).

      Delete
  15. Great post! It is so easy to compare ourselves, but we really should only be comparing ourselves to ourselves! Look at where you started and look at where you are and you'll see great accomplishment :) Thanks for linking up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Sometimes we forget to focus on our progress not someone else's!

      Delete
  16. It's so easy to get sucked into the trap of comparison! I find it happens mostly when people are overly tired or hormonal. It's like all the "I'm awesome!" juice runs out. Do you see that as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO easy. I do see that it happens more when I'm stressed, tired, and cranky. That would all make sense to why my workouts and runs feel sluggish too. Bad moods suck!

      Delete
  17. Saw you mention this post on Ali's blog today, so I thought I'd stop by... and I'm so glad I did! I always compare and then feel crappy about myself. I even deleted my Instagram for a bit when I got injured because I just didn't want to see all the Garmin pics. I think I'm going to bookmark this page to reference whenever I'm feeling down or read about someone who ran four times the distance at twice the speed. :) Thanks for sharing! We need more posts like this out there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and glad you could relate! Instagram can be really hard sometime. Definitely know you are not alone in your feelings!

      Delete