19 Jan 2015

10 Things Long Distance Running Taught Me About Success and Reaching Your Goal


One of my hobbies is running. I used to wake up very early in the morning to jog from my house to a distant destination and back some years back. I also read the inspiring story of a runner John Baker, "John Baker's Last Race" as written by William J. Buchanan in the book Everyday Greatness, though I haven't watched the film adaptation. (Use the link to read it.)

Let me share with you some of the things I learnt from running as a hobby.

  1. Unless you don't have legs and can't afford prosthetic, you too can run. Your muscles will ache at first but they will get used to it. If others can succeed, you too can- no price is too high to pay for success.
  2. You might not be a fast runner, but in a marathon you need stamina not speed to finish. Life is a marathon, not a sprint race.
  3. Break the entire distance into smaller finish lines and concentrate only on reaching the next finish line. Success is a journey, not a destination. Celebrate little successes every step of the way.
  4. Run from home and then back to it to increase your motivation to finish. Have a goal that will give you satisfaction and a longing to reach it.
  5. When you feel most like giving up, double your speed, take your thoughts off of it, and keep going. Get ready for times of discouragement, but keep moving anyway.
  6. If you have a song, sing it. If you want to talk to yourself, then do that. If you have an Ipod, listen to it. Whatever you can do to take your mind off of giving up, do it to finish strong. Yes, you have to motivate yourself- no one can motivate you better than you.
  7. Get a partner, it will increase your desire to run and achieve, and the will to finish. Two are better than one; for when one is tired, the other will cheer on.
  8. Consistency is more important than the distance. Run regularly even if short distances. Running three times every week for 20 minutes is better than running 3 hours once a month. Success is all about consistency. Whatever good you do, be consistent at doing it.
  9. Don't over prepare so that you don't develop analysis paralysis. But you must prepare anyway- mentally, physically and financially.
  10. Run, Run, Run. If you buy the gear, psyche yourself up, get a partner,outline your multiple short finish lines but never bring yourself to actually get up in the morning to run, you have failed even before you started. Start today. Start small. Don't procrastinate.
If you plan to be a consistent better runner, then you must run consistently. If you hate to sweat, then you will never get the satisfaction of reaching the finish line or achieving your goal(s). Your muscles, sinew and energy reserves can be trained to see you through.

I hope you make the decision to run long distances regularly and find the joy in it. But more importantly, I hope you become successful at every other endeavor you undertake.




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