Mindset plays a massive part in achieving your running goals. There is no two ways about it. For many it will be the pass or fail factor when it comes down to what they end up realising. I’ve written before about knowing what you want and having a true hunger for that. Today, well, it’s about goals and shooting for them.
If you are sitting right now thinking “I’d love to run [insert any distance, race or adventure here]” the chances are that it will be something big relative to you. But, you can’t climb your proverbial Everest without being able to tick off a couple of munros first.
Here’s four tips I use when setting out goals and getting on a path to achieve them.
- Firstly, I determine why it is important enough to be a personal goal. And that’s the genesis of any achievement. Make it personal to you, and make it achievable but stretching. Whether it is to raise money for charity, the experience, winning or just taking part and finding new boundaries for yourself, you have to make it mean something. If you get goosebumps thinking about it you are halfway there already.
- “Soon” and “One day” and “I’ll need to do that” and allthatshittypassivelanguage needs to be eradicated from your vocabulary. Instead, set a date when you want to hit that goal by. Not an arbitrary sometime-in-the-future date with no thought. Even better, pick the event in which you will achieve it. Whether it is Strathclyde Parkrun in July 2018, or the Highland Fling 2017, make it real. And live it in your actions and words.
- Then, I tell people about it. Not everyone initially. Just those whose opinion and counsel I trust on the matter in hand. That’s the running equivalent of planting a seed in fertile soil. By verbalising it you start to imagine it. You make it a thing. Something. It’s all of a sudden out of your head and into the world. You will be amazed at how excited people can get for you when you do this. I used my Rocky Raccoon vlogs as a way of externalising my goals. If you watched even just one you played a part in helping me.
- In the words of MC Hammer (and many much better rappers) I then break it down. When I plan for a race, I segment it into bite-sized chunks. I might not be able to imagine running for 24 hours in one fell swoop, but somehow, no matter how f*cked I am, I can always see myself doing another hour. Then another, then another… The point is, if you want to run your first [insert any distance, race or adventure here – again] it is likely to be beyond your current capacity. But that is current capacity, and we all know that training, attitude, and a whole host of other stuff will increase that capacity. Today’s half-marathon race, the limit of your current capacity will be tomorrow’s training run. Believe in that, and win small lots. Those small wins added together become a massive achievement.
And that is that. Set meaningful, achievable and really personal goals and go after them with small wins everyday. Go surprise yourself!
This is the 1st in a series of weekly blogs I will be doing on running hints and tips. I’d love to hear from you if it was useful, or sparked a thought or was downright miserable and you just want to tell me it was garbage. Get in touch and feel free to share!