WHAT'S THE POINT IF I'M NOT AS FAST?
WHATS THE POINT WHEN I’M NOT AS FAST?
This is a phrase I’ve heard a few times over the last few months, which is why I have decided to address it with this blog. Do you sometimes see people with their dogs and think ‘that’s not fair’ or ‘I can’t go that fast’ or ‘ah man, I’m just so unfit’? It’s common to think this, but the crux of the matter is how you continue and remain focused on your own progress rather than comparing yourself to others.
THE REALITY IS THAT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PEOPLE BETTER THAN YOU, BUT ALSO NOT AS GOOD AS YOU!
For every person that you see and think ‘wow’ there are just as many people who will look at you and your dog and think the same! You are someone else’s inspiration! When you look at some of those incredibly fast people at races or online, remember that the few moments of them racing that you see are just the tip of the iceberg!
Underneath that, is hours of work and training and in many instances, years of focused training and running… Usain Bolt famously said in one of his interviews that he trains four years for one 10 second race! Eliud Kipchoge trains a full year for his one key marathon… not every run is perfect and for those you think that are perfect, remember the work that goes into it! Years of training and focus, diet, cutting out alcohol, early beds, early alarm bells....all of these are key aspects of top performance...
THINK ABOUT THE GOALS YOU SET
When planning your running or events for the year, choose a few and then label them in order of priority. Your ‘A’ event is the one that you want everything to be aimed at! The one you go and give it your all for! Your B events are the ones which you use to see how you are getting along with your training and try some race methods and plans at. The C events are the ones which you do for fun almost as part of your training – instead of going for a long run, you do a C event instead… Your A events should only be sporadic through the season, perhaps just 3 key events you really want to focus on achieving.
For those who run competitively, they choose a few key races per year and the rest are just fun or trials used for training focuses and having a go at a practicing race techniques. For some elite athletes, they have one key race they focus on and anything else is just fine tuning their skills...
Set your goal as a process goal rather than an outcome goal! A process goal is something you have complete control over – for example – I am going to have a focused warm up and plan my start. I will then head off for the first 1km at a good speed and hold it for the second KM. During the third KM I will slow and walk run if needed and then run the final two KM without stopping. All of these are achievable goals.
A process goal can be broken down into chunks and completed step by step. A 'B' race is a good chance to try some of these goals. For example, I might head out with the goal of passing cleanly and finishing with a sprint effort. Rather than concentrating on times and comparing myself to others, I can achieve these process goals and feel good about my event! and so can you! These are all things to be proud of!
DON’T PUSH TO BE FASTER EVERY TIME
This just isn’t possible! You shouldn’t be running every run faster and faster – that is your quickest route to injury! Some runs need to be a little steady and others then need to include some speed work.
It is also something to be aware of when looking at the time of your run, what you ate that day, how you slept, how your dog is feeling and how stressed you feel…as well as what the weather is like! So if you feel like going for a run – keep it fun and remember that no one can improve every single time they go out…
YOU ARE SOMEONE ELSE TIP OF THE ICEBERG!
You are someone else goal, you are someone else’s inspiration, so remember that even though you look at others and feel a bit frustrated and ever so slightly envious, there is someone looking at you thinking the same thing!