I wrote this post a while ago. I’m not really sure why I didn’t post it. Possibly due to the “my life is so hard” narrative that people will read, then think “just get on with it and stop moaning”. This short of stuff can be a real turn off. It’s really about telling yourself over and over again that you will do something, and you don’t do it. Anyway, here it is….
At most training sessions – BMF, BMF Run Club, Wimbledon Run Club (and any race) whilst I’m chugging along and someone comes past me or I drop off the back of a group. I think a mixture of the following thoughts –
- Why am I not faster?
- Am I trying hard enough?
- What is everyone else doing that I’m not?
- Why did I go out last night?
- I need to go to bed earlier!
- I need to eat cleaner!
- I should drink more water!
- No booze this weekend!
- My legs are stiff. I will definitely stretch after this!
- Where’s the foam roller again?
- Am I just kidding myself?
- I’m really going to focus on my training!
Maybe I’m comparing myself to people I shouldn’t be. I train with national age group triathletes, people who win their age group and gender at races and running club champions.
Whilst chatting to people after BMF (as we unlock our bikes) people are regularly going off to do a swimming or yoga session afterwards. These are fit people.
This may sound like I’m whinging about this. “Why I can’t run faster. I have plenty of opportunity to train. But it just doesn’t work”.
I’m not whinging. This stuff just really interests me. Is it a physical thing or a mental thing? If I want this so much, why don’t I do it? Why do I tell myself 3 times a week that I’m going to focus, but I just don’t get on with it?
Is it just a matter of trying harder, being more focused and committed?
My default way of looking at this is – If anything is not working, I should just double my efforts and work harder.
I also need to work on my upper body, flexibility, do some core work. There are also professional and personal aims – gaining my professional qualification, promotion at work, language homework, growing this blog. Can I be better at all those things too?
So I need to double down and work harder on 7 different things and my running. All whilst improving my diet, cooking from scratch every night, making my lunch every day, working on my relationship, getting more sleep. I don’t have kids, but throw a couple of them into the equation and this gets even tougher. Doubling you effort of everything, means something is going to drop.
By trying to focus on everything, will I end up doing none of it well?
Everything requires more time. To provide more time; meals times are now more organised and I tend to batch cook as well as making sure there are leftovers for the next day. I have “kinda” stopped watching TV. It is on from time to time, but I try to no longer have it on in the background so I can focus better. I have started to run to work so this saves me the time of another training session or run.
My bike commute has now become training for a 100-mile event I’m doing with friends in September. This was my meditation/thought time to prepare myself for the day.
Focused or Relaxed
I like the idea of being uber focused and getting things done. That’s what we’re sold all the time on how to get ahead.
“I succeeded because I’m a machine and out grafted everyone else. If you do the same. You can be just like me”.
As much as I’m an obliger and like to meet external expectations, there’s a rebel side to me. To be unconventional, go my own way and do my own thing. I don’t want to be a robot. Work, train, eat, work, bed, repeat! I want to go with the flow. Things come, things go. Not worry “It’ll be alright on the night”. There lies the dilemma.
Returning to the question I posed at the top –
Is it just a matter of doing more?
I don’t really have the answer. I suspect the answer is yes. It’s probably a matter of doing a little bit of all of the things on the bulletpoint list at the top with consistency. But you have to avoid being a robot and to have some time to enjoy yourself. To kick back in the sun with a cold Corona from time to time.
It might not be –
Better, faster, harder, stronger
But more –
Organised, Prioritised, Smarter, Efficient(er)
It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, and Daft Punk are unlikely to make a song out of it, but do you really think it’s possible to work longer and harder on everything, all at the same time!