When you get an idea for a big goal it can be exciting but daunting. How do you know where to start? I get asked a lot how to start running, or how to improve. Can I ever run a 5k / 10k / half / marathon, can I beat my PB, can I cycle 100 miles?
The answer is yes!
The physical side is almost the easy part. You go out, you start slowly, you build up gradually and you get fitter. We don’t often give much thought to the mental side, but this is critical in bagging you your goals.
One problem is our modern day impatience. Want a book? Download it instantly on your device. Want some food? Get it sent round in 30 minutes. Want to run your first 5k or get a half marathon PB? Well, it’s not instant. But you know what they say about the good things in life – they really are worth working for, and once you adjust your mind to this, you’ll get more enjoyment out of the training to get there.
I’m a subscriber to the positive mental attitude approach. There’s been much research into those with a ‘fixed mindset’ who believe in a set amount of talent. If you think you aren’t born to run a marathon or cycle 100 miles, then you probably wont! Contrast this to the ‘growth mindset’ who believe abilities can be developed. They stretch themselves to see what they can achieve, and enjoy the process.
We can see examples of these mindsets everywhere. Who for example would have thought that reality tv could be inspiring? The latest trend is for programmes where people show off and improve their skills, whether at baking, sewing, singing or gymnastics. One thing is clear. Those who do the best have not only already invested a lot of time and effort in honing their skill, but they also continue to work hard to improve even further. They believe they can do better. Compare this to those who give up too easily – they leave us shouting at our tvs as we feel disappointed they don’t want to put in the effort.
It can be hard to be a beginner or improver in one area of your life, be it running, cycling or baking. We have other things we’re really good at and can get frustrated by not being equally good at everything. But it’s all a ‘journey’ as our reality tv stars rightly tell us.
So don’t be put off by not being the fittest or fastest out there. Commit to improving to be the best you can be. Enjoy the training and enjoy the amazing results that you can achieve!
Go get ‘em! Let me know how you get on, and if you’ve got any questions on reaching your goals, just ask away in the comments below.