First of all – long time no see, I know. I’m faring marginally better recording my runs on Twitter.
Anyway, I thought I’d check in with a quick post about setting targets.
For a while, I was trying to run 8min miles. Every run I managed at 8:05 or 8:10 seemed close, but not close enough. It took discipline and a little determination to keep going out at times, but keep at it I did, and though it seemed to take an age, a few runs started coming in at 7:59 or 7:58.
So what did I do – raise the bar? No.
To be honest, it may sound lazy or unambitious but I’d spent so long missing out on my target, I decided to just enjoy hitting my target a little more often. Suddenly, I was hitting it almost all the time, then clearing it. Soon I was running 7:50s, then a few 7:45s.
Running wasn’t a chore anymore. It wasn’t something I was determined to keep doing. It was something I was enjoying. I was fairly fit, I was doing better than I hoped, and it was good fun. And while it was fun, I was improving – and fast!
Recently, I tried raising the bar again, and aiming for 7:45s. But do you know what happened? I pulled out a few 7:50s and was right back to being fed up again. The next week I’d try harder, but not get any faster.
As it happens, I’m now putting in quite a few 7:30s, and there’s no way I’m raising the bar again in a hurry now.
For all the time I’m chasing a target which is just out of reach, running is hard work, and generally without any great improvement. All those runs I go out and just enjoy, confident in my running and in the fact that I’m above target, all those runs are fun. All those runs I enjoy. And funnily enough, that’s when my times come down the most.
So it may not be ambitious, it may even sound like I’m just trying to flatter myself; but if it’s fun and it’s helping me improve, setting achievable goals can’t be all that bad.
On that note – no promises of further posts here any time soon. But if I do get 20 mins to spare, and I’m passing, I’ll pop by and let you know how I’m getting on. If I don’t, there’s no way I’ll be beating myself up about it just yet.