I want that feeling.
Well trained, rested, fed, adjusted and ready to run with seeming effortlessness.
OK, so the road to fulfilling my running potential is not going to be simple, but I am going to give it a try.
Why do I want to fulfil my potential?
This is not a newly found ambition. It might have diminished at times, but has always returned reignited. So here I am, 20 months until I hit the big FIVE ZERO and I have decided to scratch the itch properly. I have nothing to lose and at the very least I can put the ‘what if?’ question to bed.
‘There is no heavier burden that an unfulfilled potential’ Charles Schulz
Where to start first
Going purely on instinct I reflected on information I had easily to hand. Knowledge not only about myself but also those around me, and not all runners I hasten to add. The important thing was to be completely honest despite this being an uncomfortable process.
I found what helped me most was looking at:
- Circumstances where I had previously succeeded.
- Contributory factors to my past failures.
- Behaviours of people I would like to emulate.
- Personal traits that help or hinder me.
The first 5 steps of my plan
Armed with this information I devised the initial steps of my ‘fulfil potential’ plan.
Step 1: Recognise when the time is right
To put it bluntly, life’s tribulations have got in the way. I did not have the capacity to concentrate on running before. Things are different now though. I work flexibly, live near hills to train on and have a special someone supporting me.
There could not be a better time.
Step 2: Have a clear goal
With so many running events I can be forgiven for previously spreading myself too thin. An ultra-marathon one week then trying to get a 5K personal best the next. I just did not want to miss out.
However, for now I am going to concentrate on the shorter distances, 10K and below.
Step 3: Prioritise activities
All aspects of my life suffer when I say yes to everything and go at it 100%. One of my hindering traits!
Running well takes time though. The time to train, refuel and recover from the physical and emotional exertions. So going forward I am consciously prioritising my relationships, work, running and photography.
The only rushing about I should do is when I run!
Step 4: Play the long game
Potential will be fulfilled over time with commitment and hard work. Problem is patience is not one of my virtues. The trick will be to keep my goal in the fore front of my mind, and set mini targets along the way.
Step 5: Be flexible
Well this is going to be the biggest challenge. Give me a plan and I will stick at it rigidly, even to the detriment of myself and to achieving the long term aim.
What appears to work best is having a broad plan, but adjust it day by day to reflect what is happening at that point in time. I can feel myself twitching at the thought of this, but I will give it my best shot.
Bringing this all together then. It is pretty clear that now the only thing stopping me from fulfilling my potential is me. No excuses!
What do you think? Anything else you would suggest?
As always, happy running.