During my winter break (vacation), I didn’t know how I’d do on my runs. I started to be a little inconsistent and even lazy due to the cold weather outside. I didn’t stop my running routine. I ran on the days I was supposed to go like I always due thanks to the power of consistency.
On December 30th, Runkeeper had me tracked at 46 miles for the month of December.
“Say what? Really? Nice!” I was so happy with my results. This was great for my morale because I felt like I had a crappy month. It made me feel better almost immediately.
“Such a shame, it’s not 50. But hey maybe next month” I thought to myself after my 5 miles run that day.
Next day, on New Year’s Eve, I took my boys to the movies. I wanted to dedicate a full day to them. This meant no blogging, no code, and no computer. My laptop was stashed away in my room on purpose.
However, the thought in the back of my head kept coming up: only 4 miles to go and we break 50. Only 4 miles!
Instead of avoiding or suppressing that thought, I took a paused and analyzed my internal request. I compromised with myself. If I go out today, I won’t out for the two days at the very least. Also, I’d not go fast or push myself too hard. The main goal is to run the 4 miles. It’s a test of distance and not speed.
It was a bit painful at first. The previous day was a 5 mile run and now a 4 mile run? I had to be extra careful.
Consistency brings success
I’m happy to announce that I completed my 50 miles for December!
I’m not going to lie, my feet, calves to be exact, were hurting a bit. I was physically tired and wanted to crash. The only problem is that I couldn’t crash because some friends were expecting us at their place to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Not a very smart move but I was super excited (still am actually).
This is very successful to me because I never aimed to run 50 miles on single month. Hell, I thought running 40 miles was already an achievement and I was happy with that.
What’s the secret? There is no secret. Don’t focus on the goal or how long you will run for the day. And listen to your body.
Once you start, make your main goal not to stop. Keep this in mind in your overall running routine or in the middle of your run.
Consistency builds confidence
I know I have already talked about consistency in respect to career and general sense. But I wanted like to share this with a more concrete experience.
Today, I can understand and feel my body. If my body says only the 3.11 mile run, then that’s all I go for. Sometimes, my initial milestone is to go for a 3.11 mile run but I end up doing 5 miles without too much trouble.
Consistency has given me confidence on myself and understanding my physical body. Thanks to failure, I have learned much about myself and decided to change quite a few things.
This confidence has transferred to other areas in my life. Whether it’s career, personal, or even gaming. It has helped me be more assertive and decisive in my decisions lately. I’m learning to say “No” more often to others and, especially, to myself.
Consistency also creates momentum. If you consistently do something every day, or nearly every day, is easier to sustain it than doing the same thing only once in a while.
An object in motion will remain in motion
A bit overplayed, but it’s the truth.
It’s easy to plan a run every other day than once a week or every other day when you feel like it. Today, if I miss a day when I am supposed to go out running, I’d have to make up for it next day. It’s harder to quit on me due to my momentum.
Climbing the next mountain
This is very common with losing weight. This is why many people gain weight back. They are happy with results and go back to their old eating habits.
Now that I reached this milestone. I won’t stop but I won’t let that define me.
Does this mean next month I will run 60 miles? I wish but no. Or I can’t say at the very least.
In the past, I’d have pushed myself towards that goal. But after my injury over the summer, I won’t do anything silly anymore.
I’ll enjoy my plateau and climb my next mountain without knowing it. I’m sure I will reach 60 miles in a month at some point in my running adventure. But, I won’t dwell or aim for it.
It’s not all about speed
Consistency is about sustainability over speed. In other words, it’s better to have consistency that those fleeting moments inspiration and motivation.
When you first start running, it’s such a pain to get out there and go. My rule is simple: go run every other day. That’s it.
Don’t worry about the distance or the timing. Build the consistency and the habit until you don’t have to think about it anymore.
Don’t aim for 3 or 5 miles. This will happen without you even knowing it.
Not every run is a great run. Whenever I’m having a tough run, I remind myself: “I don’t care how long it takes to finish it. I’ll get there one step at the time.”
If you want to run 50 miles in a month, you can do it. I certainly did it and I’m totally psyched about it.
Running consistently will help you build confidence, gain momentum and learn a whole deal about your body and yourself. Not to mention gain great health benefits like losing weight and eating healthier.
The newly gained knowledge will transfer onto other parts of your life, career and overall well-being.
If you ever need some pep talk or inspiration, feel free to email me or add me via Runkeeper.
This is all I can do from my side. The rest is up to you. I know you can do it.
Oh…and remember: Have fun!