Recently, I have a catch-up over lunch with my long time friend Koon Kiat, who is an ex-national runner for Singapore. We have a conversation on our competitive running days. During the lunch, I got very curious how he become a national runner, and I took the opportunity to learn from him.
One of the key thing that he shared with me is “Follow your passion”. Like what you are doing, and do what you love. When you do that, you will have the commitment to pursue what you really want to achieve.
Why is this passion is so important for running?
For example, he shared with me that he loves to do track work, but he does not really like the weights sessions. However, he knows that weights session is going to improve his running. Keeping the big picture in mind, he is able to find the purpose and the reason of the weights session.
Soon, the weights session is no longer a dread.
What I learn is that whatever that will contribute to your final goal, you have to be passionate to do it.
How does he stay passionate in running?
Celebrating every small victory is a key to staying passionate.
Be happy with you have achieve. Every little win and every little improvement are worth celebrating. Koon Kiat shared that even when he loses a race, there are things that he may have done well during the race and lessons to be learned from it.
For example, I may have lost a 400m race, but in the race I may have a done a very good first 300m. The first 300m is something that I have done well and I can give myself a pat on the shoulder for it. It is only the last 100m that I did not do so well. So well, learn from it and work on the final 100m of the race the next round.
Another key lesson that I learned from Koon Kiat is setting your sight on a target.
For example, to make it to the national 400m squad requires you to do a sub 50s pace, you will have to work towards that target. If I do not even know the timing to qualify, then how will I know where I stand and how to work towards it? At best, I will only drift along and not going towards my target. Dare to dream big and dare to be a champion. Not everyone dare to dream to be a national runner.
I have also learn from him that I should not compare myself with others. Keep the focus on my personal target. Comparing myself with others will only make me more stressed out and ending up not doing what I am suppose to do. Just focus on my training and my progress, the results should come.
Of course there will be ups and downs. Good days and bad days. Wonderful races and races to forget. The most important thing is to just keep doing, keep training and keep trying. Stay positive, and one day I will get there. There are 2 options that I can choose, either I keep going or I give up. Never doubt that I can be better than what I am now.
If you like my articles about running, you should read about how I apply these learnings into my investing practices.