I was inspired to write this post during a recent run I did with my friend, Sam, who I usually run with once a week, for about 60-90 minutes.
Last week, I included a link to a previous post on setting and achieving your running goals for 2019:
Yes, setting meaningful goals is important, and it is especially beneficial to write them down, so that you can frequently see them to remind yourself of them. Goals can motivate us and they provide us direction. Without goals we are just training and our training will mostly likely not be as effective. As a result, it is much easier to miss workouts, and so our running performance will not improve as much as it could.
However, it seems that in this country, we are obsessed with goals. And we only celebrate if and when we achieve those goals. As a result I feel we miss out on a lot of what we could be enjoying. To me training is the spice of life and the event we trained for is just the culmination of the great experiences we have had along the way.
Also, it’s possible that we don’t achieve our goal(s) on race day, even though we put in the effort and trained hard. Life happens and the weather could be too hot, too cold, we get sick, we miss a turn (I’ve done this!), have an unforeseen freak injury, etc. How do we respond?
One of my favorite books is Mindset by Carol Dweck. In her book, Dr. Dweck discusses how people respond to such situations, in education, sports, business, and relationships. Do we become frustrated and give up on our goals? Or, do we appreciate the journey and all we’ve accomplished along the way, and recognize that even though we didn’t achieve our goal(s) this time, we are a better runner and have made progress and are closer to them.
Along with this, is celebrating the small wins on our journey. Whether it’s completing our first 10 mile run of the year, or our first speed workout. Maybe it’s completing all workouts for a week. Whatever it is, and whatever way is appropriate and meaningful for you, celebrate!
Also on your journey, enjoy your training runs. This brings me back to my run with Sam…
On this specific easy run, we were deeply immersed in conversation on topics that varied from his latest race and training, to my recent trip, to politics (my least enjoyable topic on this run), and to our high school cross-country coach. We both had some great memories of our coach and the significant impact he made on our lives. It was great to reminiscence about that! Yes, Sam and I have running goals, but we were able to enjoy our run that morning, and I benefited tremendously because it inspired me to write this post!
Besides engaging in conversation during my easier runs, I enjoy taking pictures. I’m so grateful to be living in beautiful Colorado, and sometimes during these runs I will stop and take a few pictures of some inspiring scenery. It’s great to have these pictures to look back at and use them for these posts! Doing these things make running and my attempt to achieve my running goals more enjoyable.
Yes, I have a goal of breaking three hours in the marathon this year. However, even if I don’t achieve this goal, but I’m making progress, enjoyed my runs, and celebrated my wins along the way, it will be a great running year!
I encourage you to keep in mind that if your training is appropriate and consistent, and is progressively moving you towards your goal(s), you will become a better runner, and this will help you to achieve your meaningful running goals. It may not be this year, however if you enjoy the journey and celebrate your small wins along the way, it will be a great running year!
Before I leave, I want to remind you that I will begin my official training tomorrow, and I will be posting my workouts and tips to help you on your journey to achieving your goals. I will send you weekly summaries of these posts, instead of inundating you with daily emails. However, you can access the daily posts under Brian’s Blog at denverrunningcoach.com. Keep in mind that the workouts I do may not be appropriate for you, and you might consider having a customized program designed for you to meet your specific needs.
Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can help in any way.
Be your best self today.
Your friend and coach,