I used to be a very competitive runner. Those were the days when I ran very hard and far. However, gone are those competitive days and my stamina.
For athletes who have stopped training for a period of time, it is very difficult to start training all over again. For me, I found it very challenging to resume running after I stopped. Having to balance between family and work commitments was not easy for me. For competitive running, having sufficient rest and recovery is especially important as well. It is not easy to juggle all this.
Another challenge for me to come back to running is that I used to run fast. So, it is extremely frustrating for me that I can not run at the same pace now. I am eager to perform again. I compared myself with other faster runners and with my past performance. Eventually, I went into a state of denial and I did not like that losing feeling. I told myself that I rather not start running.
However, having a runner’s blood in my veins, I wanted to start running again and if possible, to be back at competitive running. I knew it will definitely take a lot of discipline and focus to start all over again. I wanted to start all over. This time to really focus to run consistently.
I believed that if I could do these three things, I would be able to bring my running habit back:
1. Correct Mindset
Having the correct mindset is one of the most important starting point. I should not worry about where I am at now. Regardless of my state of my fitness, no matter how bad it was, I can start somewhere. I can only get better after I start. So, I started with short, easy runs. I focused on enjoying my run and not the stress of performing.
2. Correct Environment
If I were to depend on my own strength to start and sustain my running, it may be difficult. I may be fully motivated to come back but if my friends and family are negative about it, or if they distract me from my running, then my discipline may be deflated. I have to put myself in an environment of support so that I can keep going. I chose to surround myself with a group of encouraging runners. My environment is very critical to my success.
3. Correct Target
I decided to set a short term target. I joined a race. I set a distance target to train for, and a timing target to achieve. If I have a goal, there is a reason and something to train for.
At the end of the day, no matter how much discipline or focus I may have, I believe it is still the passion and love of running that will sustain me in the long run. Discipline and focus can go up and down, however passion will keep you going in the long run.
All these points do not apply just to running. It can apply to all the different aspect of our lives. If you are not financially fit, you can always start all over again. It is never too late to take control of it. No matter what you wish to have success in, the same principles apply.
Have the correct mindset, correct target and correct environment. It will help you to be a winner in life again!