One of the most important aspects of running is learning how to pace yourself. It is essential for you to pace your overall training. When working towards an upcoming race, you can’t push yourself too hard. Training properly involves a gradual progression of miles and speed. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast will ultimately result in injury and burnout.
Another way a runner paces themselves is during their individual runs. For me personally, I have a much easier time pacing myself during training than I do during races. Nerves and adrenaline kick in at the starting line, and I find myself running too fast in the beginning. I end up burning myself out too quickly and have no energy left to finish the race. I literally have to remind myself to slow down when I start running.
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We are often told that hard work will pay off in the end. At what point, however, do we cross the line between working hard and working too hard to accomplish our goals? Just as runners run the risk of burning out when training, we run the risk of burning out when we push ourselves too hard in our day-to-day lives.
Learn to say no when necessary. Establish priorities and set boundaries
We all want to please the people around us. We also desire to feel needed and appreciated. Doing things for others accomplishes both of these goals.
The Bible is clear that we are called to serve others. This, after all, is a basic fundamental teaching of Christianity. We do, however, need to understand our limitations. We can’t be everything to everyone. It’s okay to say no, and it’s okay to delegate.
Moses learned this lesson when he was serving as a judge to the Israelites. (Exodus 18:13-18, 21-23)
God called Moses to be a leader to His people, but that doesn’t mean Moses had to do it alone. His father-in-law recognized the fact that Moses would eventually burn out if he didn’t have help.
Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone…. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.” – Exodus 18:17-18, 22
God will call you to action, but He will never give you more than you are equipped to handle. He will never cause you to burn out… rather burnout occurs when we try to take everything on ourselves…too much… too fast.
Learn to find rest in the Lord.
Hard work is a part of life. We work to make a living, to take care of our families, and to accomplish our goals. God’s Word is clear, however, that we weren’t created to work seven days a week. God established the Sabbath day of rest for His people when He created the world.
The Sabbath was made for us. God meant for it to serve as a blessing to His people so that we could find rest from our busy lives. It allows us to be still for a moment…to get away from all the noise that the world throws our way. As Christians, it is up to us to still honor the Sabbath rest. We need to make sure that we are taking that time to rest in the Lord. Not only must we rest from our work, but we should be taking that time to build our relationship with Him. He promises to provide rest, but He can’t do that if we aren’t spending time with Him.
Learn to pace yourself.
God’s Word calls us to serve, work hard, and persevere. At the same time, it tells us to find rest in our heavenly Father. We need to find a balance. In running, this is known as pacing yourself.
We persevere and keep running, while at the same time we conserve energy for when it really counts.
Click here to read more from my “Racing to Win” series!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.