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"Why" is more powerful than "how"

  • Ultra Marathon
  • Half Marathon
  • Training

64 days to go to the 2012 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon! I hope your training has been going well. Whether you’re a novice, or an experienced hand at this event, the next two months, up to about mid-March, define what happens on April 7th. 90% of the work is done in this period, and so it’s an exciting window of opportunity. If your training has been less than stellar, for reasons of work, holidays, injuries or “other”, don’t despair – provided you set the goals right, you still have ample time to have a successful 2012 Two Oceans, and your journey starts now!

One of the guiding principles we have with the SA Sevens team is that the person who understands “why” is more powerful than the person who understands “how”. Every decision, from the basic to the existential, can only be interpreted and made if you understand your “why”. The same goes for your training – how far do you run, how fast, when, with whom and where? All these questions come into focus when you understand why you’re doing something. And trust me, there will be dark moments in the next 64 days – if this was easy, then everyone would do it! And it’s in these difficult moments, the fatigue and frustration, the bad days when your legs are heavy and your spirit is down, that you really need to return to your own purpose for motivation. So your “why” will become extremely important!

So before I launch into the more technical aspects of the next 9 weeks, taking you through the elements that will help you have a great run, it’s essential for you to understand your own “why”.

The answer to this question is uniquely yours. There will be 20,000 “why’s” on that starting line in April, and all that matters is that you understand your own. Maybe you are doing this to prove something to yourself, or to your peers. Maybe it is to lose weight, to get healthy. Perhaps you’re back for a personal best, or to race, or just because of the camaraderie and social benefits of training and running with friends. It really doesn’t matter all that much, provided you buy into it! Once you do that, then you’re ready to embrace the challenge that lies ahead of you.

As for me, my “why” is to explain the “how” to you! The purpose of these blogs, and the weekly videos that I’ll be posting to guide you to and through your 2012 Two Oceans, is to smooth and guide your journey, regardless of your purpose. We’ll be looking at some of the technical aspects of the training, things like the long run, stretching, working on strength, staying injury free and getting faster. These topics will be covered primarily in the video series, and if you have any suggestions or questions, please do let me know. I’ll also talk you through race day, the small tricks to turn a good run into a great run, and I’ll also guide you through the route, so that you know what to expect.

As for the blog, it’s more personal, and it’s a dialogue, not a monologue. So let’s hear your views, and let’s discuss your experiences, your success stories, your failures and bad moments – you’d be surprised how much you encourage others by revealing that we’re all in this together!

And to leave you for this week at least, if I may be presumptuous enough to suggest that regardless of your own personal purpose and “why”, the one thing that binds all of us together is that we run, and run this race, because when we succeed, it makes us better. Whether it’s meeting a challenge, getting healthier, or getting faster, you’ll be a better person for it. So let’s have a great journey towards that goal together.

Join me next week as we deconstruct and then build up the race!

Ross

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