Run Your Own Race


Happy New Year y’all! I trust the festive season was good to you and you’re raring to get going on whatever fitness challenge you’ve set yourself this year. January is like a virtual obstacle course where you have to dodge and weave through all the dieting and fitness fad madness. It’s a minefield out there and can be super confusing to figure out what’s best for you.

So, my fitness goals for this year? Well, nothing too crazy. I’ll be running London Marathon, teaching spin six times a week and just generally looking to continue enjoying being fit for the life I lead. I look forward to trying out new things (such as a pole dancing class this weekend – I’ll let you know how that goes!) and hopefully continuing to show fitness and the love of movement as a positive thing and not a chore.

The main message I think it’s important to get across at this time of year is to just find what works for you and do that. In other words: run your own race. In this age of Instagram fitness it can be hard to not feel overwhelmed, put off and discouraged when you see what everyone else is doing. All it takes is to see someone’s Nike+ update about their run, or their Facebook post about the PB they just smashed in the weight room, for you to question everything you’re doing (or not doing) with your training.

I say again amigos: Run your own race.

What other people are doing with their training is none of your business. Someone posting about their training should really illicit no other response from you than to congratulate them on how well they’re doing in their training. You need to take responsibility for yours. You know nothing about that Insta-celebrity’s behind-the-scenes struggles. Keep in mind, most people are guilty of only showing the good bits. Even if they’re training for the exact same event as you, the way they’re training for it is not necessarily how you should be.

You have to train the way that’s best for you.

How am I going to train for London Marathon? Well, I’m just going to run a lot. I’m not going to follow a formal training plan. I know the general gist of what it takes to make it across the finish line, I know how much mileage I need to put in, but mentally, I don’t want the stress of adhering to a strict marathon plan. I don’t care what time I do it in, I’m honestly just happy to have the ability to run and try to test my limits. The training process will be four months of my life. I’m busy, I work a lot, I have my fingers in a lot of pies (not literally, that ain’t gonna help my training), I want my marathon training to be fun and enjoyable. Naturally, there will be tough (horrible, awful) runs, but with everything else going on in my life, I just don’t want the prospect of London Marathon to be something that stresses me out.

So, when I’m online and see everyone logging those 20 mile runs and if I’m only up to 13 miles at that point, I won’t feel discouraged or stressed because I know this is all about me running my own race and doing it the best way for me.

So whether you’re a seasoned pro taking on something extra challenging this year, or you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, I encourage you to do it your way. Enjoy it, smile through it, experiment and figure out what’s best for you. That’s the only way to do it.

On that note, what are your fitness goals for this year?

6 Responses to “Run Your Own Race”
  1. scallywag says:

    Honestly my 2015 fitness goal is to keep going. This year will be stressful and busy. I just want to keep on moving!

  2. IreneR says:

    This is so much truth, its scary.

    I see so many people busting out incredible training for whatever is it they are doing and I am so happy for them. I use my Instagram feed for inspiration and to cheer on those who are doing their thing.

    But I know that right now, some newbies are looking at the same pages thinking “I CAN’T DO THIS”. The truth is, they shouldn’t be tying to do what others are doing. Everyone’s journey is different!

    I hope people take your words to heart. I’m just waiting to teach my class on Thursday, packed to the gills with new ladies, and trying to get them to work at their own pace as opposed to keeping up with others. It will be a challenge.


  3. Dreya says:

    So nice to read this! I feel like every word really resonated with me! (Apart from teaching 6 spin classes ;-))

    My goals for this year are to do things that make me feel strong and badass. In fitness & in life. But without a strict plan that overwhelms me and feels rigid; more on a do stuff that makes me glow and grow and expands my horizons. I’ve run 12 marathons in the last four years and do not like using plans as they stress me out and feel too rigid and overwhelming. Running is supposed to be something I do to unwind from stress, not give me some more. So I’ve signed up for the South African Two Oceans ultra marathon, which is a 56k road run (with hills!). This will be my new challenge. For the rest, I’m dabbling in Buti Yoga and trying to work on building my core strength so I can try new inversions and arm balances, because that’s new and exciting for me and I’ve realised I need an element of adventure/novelty/challenge to keep me moving forward …

  4. My fitness goal is to keep doing what I’m doing :)

  5. Mark says:

    Great article! My fitness goal for this year is to reduce my weight and to do not lose my motivation

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