This past summer was one of the toughest for me physically. I vowed to “keep going” with my running regimen, even though I’ve lost a few steps from last year. Father Time is tracking me down like everyone else. Maybe you feel the same where your physical prowess and energy have dropped over the years.
It’s disheartening, but your situation may be a lot better than you think.
Usually, when I’m running, I’m alone so it’s easy to slack off. There’s not much to motivate me and there’s nothing to get hyped about, except being happy that the run is over. Just getting through the process doesn’t put that fire in your belly to maintain consistency. However, whenever I run in a race, I do much better.
The night before the race I get to bed earlier. On the morning of the race, I prepare with purpose, eating only certain types of food and stretching. That said, this past week I ran in a 5k race. Although I’ve struggled mightily all year and thought I would have a horrible run when I got to the starting line and the start gun fired, I took off with determination passion.
Consequently, I ran my best time of the year.
When you’re involved in a competitive race you have a different sense of urgency. Each year I run three races and in each one, I run much better and faster than I do when I’m running alone.
The key is to keep going between races, regardless of how lackluster my performance is. Just the process of not giving up produces something positive, even though it may not feel like it at any given moment. And, when you have a competition coming up, that puts the fire in your belly to push you through the toughest of times, mentally and physically.
Find a race or some type of competition to engage in three to four times per year.
Those competitions will keep you honest as you’ll always have something to look forward to. It’s guaranteed that your training sessions will be improved. Keep going and keep competing.