This post is a part of the We Run Jozi Series
I’m not as passionate about running as I am about squash (the sport). I would rather play squash than run. Despite this, I signed up to run Nike’s We Run Jozi 10 kilometer run. I’ve always wanted to run a ten and twenty kilometer run for the fun and experience.
This race happens to be very different from most hence my decision to run it. (I might just do a separate post to fully explain). We Run Jozi is a ten-kilometer night run on the 7th of October in Johannesburg. (Jozi is Johannesburg’s nickname).
I have not been as fit as I would like to be, but I hit the road in preparation just after signing up. If you want to complete, let alone win, a race you have no choice but to prepare. It is just downright stupid to get into a race you have not prepared for and expect to win. Do the work.
While preparing for the We Run Jozi 10k I’ve had reminders of lessons I already know. I know you’re like me. You don’t always remember everything you learn and need encouragement and reminders of lessons. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned or been reminded of as I prepare for the Nike Jozi 10k:
This is rather obvious and I have already intimated that you have no choice but to prepare. Preparation is the first step to reaching your goals. Only a fool would want to start building something without counting the cost. How you prepare communicates how serious you are about something.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe – Abraham Lincoln
If we your preparation is what to go by, how serious are you about your dreams or aspirations. You will only be able to perform to the level of your readiness.
All have feelings. It is easy to do something when you feel like you can do it. In fact, most commitments are made at the height of emotion. The true test of your resolve is after the hype is gone. There are some days that I really do not feel like running. Sometimes I feel like not completing my goal for my run because I start feeling like I cannot continue.
When you have set your goals your feelings must become irrelevant if you are going to realize them.
Those who consult their feelings in pursuit of goals will soon see the demise of their goals. Once you set goals, do not consult your feelings. Set a time and routine and Just Do It. If you wait for your feelings you might never get started. Do what you need to do. Focus on what you’ll ultimately gain and not the momentary discomfort.
My ultimate goal is to finish the 10-kilometer run in under an hour. This is a big deal for someone who does not like running. (I run because the squash courts are not close by and I need to keep fit). My primary goal in preparation was to run five kilometers consistently, non-stop. I have been slowly increasing my distance while trying to beat my average time.
You will never achieve your ultimate goal in one leap. You need the smaller or short-term goals.
You will not get better with time. You get better with effort and commitment over time. Practicing inconsistently will not help you get better. It is when you consistently do things to keep getting better.
You must be intentional about your consistency.
Set a time and minimum distance everyday and see yourself getting better.
Small changes combined become a big change. In my preparation I’ve made small changes that have caused significant growth. For instance, I’ve included that small ‘climbs’ (inclines). It has not been easy taking them on but it has helped me handle a longer incline on my run. You must not despise small, incremental changes by holding out on them with the hope to make one big change to better your game.
Small changes over time are easier to manage than one big sudden change.
I have been using RunKeeper to record and measure my runs. However, at the moment I’m trying out Nike+. What I like about Nike+ is that I can manage the music from it. I’ve loaded the music that inspires me in the playlist. The lesson:
find inspiration to do what you set out to do as a way of countering the voices that tell you to quit.
The best way to deal with the voices of discouragement is to take on positive counter actions against them. Amplify your inspiration and not the ‘voices’ telling you to quit.
What can you share from your preparations for a final showdown (like my 10k run)?