I've been thinking the last few days that a lot of the concepts that make for successful poker players also applies to running and really just wraps around the basic rule -- don't get in over your head.
1). Accept who you are
. You may play fast -- or slow -- but you're not going to have a style that's exactly like someone else.
2). Listen to yourself
. Poker and running both are pursuits where it pays off to listen to your instincts. If you do, you may find you're running yourself ragged, not heeding external dangers or just trying to be something you aren't.
3). Avoid exhaustion
. It's super difficult to play poker well when you're tired. You're just too prone to making a mistake. Same goes for when you run. You're not at your best and you may have to do more to avoid injury.
. If you want to be a winning poker player you're going to have to put your time in at the tables. You don't know how to play NL$1/2 by playing lower limits -- you have to play those limits. Same goes -- for a 10K you're going to have to get out there and run the distance to be successful.
5). There's someone always better than you
. If you're too results oriented you're going to set yourself up for a major pitfall -- there will always be a better player than you out there, there will always be a naturally gifted runner who's faster. Stay within yourself.
6). Take a break
. This applies especially to when you're in a poker downturn. It's equally good advice when you just aren't running very well. In the first case you need to recover mentally. In the latter case, you need to recover mentally and physically. Unless you are used to grinding the tables or the streets day in and day out, you won't enjoy it unless you take some time off.
So play smart and run smart. You'll find your favorite pursuits will be more enjoyable in the end.