As you start the new year off and the exciting new chapter in your running life – what are you hoping to achieve in 2013. The great thing about endurance athletes is they are great planners, they set target races for the year and training races as build ups. Most endurance athletes will set goals that stretch and challenge them either by running further than they have before (a 50 or 100 miler) or by running multi-day ultra distances.
It is interesting when talking to endurance athletes to find out how they feel when they set challenging events in a year and how they feel when they set uninspiring or goals they know they can achieve. The feedback is clear. When challenging goals are set, it is easier to wake up in the morning and go out in all weathers to train, it is easier to find the time to do the training that is needed and there is a high level of energy and anticipation about doing something new. When we set goals we know we can achieve there is less of an inspirtation, getting up to train seems hard, there never seems to be enough time, and the build up to the race seems less exciting.
The Psychology of why this happens is easily explained. As human beings we have a need to grow, challenge ourselves and develop. We want to find out where our limits are, we want to push our limits and we want to achieve more. We always feel fantastic when we have achieved something new, when we have pushed ourselves through our perceived limits. It is like a drug that drives us to want to achieve more and have that feeling again, but of course you can not get the feeling from doing something you know you can do, it has to be a new a demanding challenge.
So whatever your goals are for 2013………….. make sure they are challenging you, that they inspire you and that you will be proud when you achieve them.