To increase the chance that you go home satisfied after a game, it pays to set more than one goal beforehand. Here’s a strategy that will increase your chance of a blissful medal monday.
A few months of your running life have been dominated by that one game. You have suffered, enjoyed and developed an enormous load of anticipation and then the time has finally come; you may! But then that match will not go the way you had envisioned, you will not reach that ultimate goal. With a medal around your neck, but going home with a grumpy back is actually a shame, isn’t it?
Usually it goes the other way
A match rarely goes exactly according to the plan that you have devised in advance – with or without the help of a trainer. A cold, started too hard, strong wind, a peak in temperature or just not the legs without you having an explanation for it. It can all happen and it’s good to be aware of that in advance, good not to focus on just one possible outcome. Unlike for professional athletes, for us recreational athletes, the result is not sacrosanct. It is also the intention that you enjoy running, even if you run with a bib number.
What I advise runners is to set a few sub-goals for that big race you’ve put on the agenda. Not one holy goal, but three goals. You set those goals about a week before the race and they increase the chance that you will not only walk away with a medal around your neck, but also that you will do so with a satisfied feeling.
Suppose your big wish is to run a half marathon within two hours and suppose you now have a PR of 2 hours, 4 minutes and 12 seconds. Your first goal might be to finish, get close to your PR (say 2:05) and have a nice day. You describe that goal as: ‘beautiful’. Goal two is to run a PR, so finish under 2:04:12. This would be “great.” Your third goal, your A goal is to walk under two hours. This would be “fabulous with confetti, streamers and polonaise.” The chance that you will return home with a smile (from a smile to a radiant smile that lasts a week) is many times greater than if you should have walked that time of less than two hours at all costs.
It is certainly not wrong to bet high or to set tough goals for yourself. Just beautiful, that’s how you stimulate yourself again. But we don’t get paid to walk, so let’s make sure we have as much fun as possible while walking. Maybe this strategy can help you with that. Have fun at your next match!