How will you achieve your goals as a runner? Not all of us are looking to achieve all the same goals. There is a common thread that ties us together; the need for patience. The necessity to adjust goals throughout a season or year of running is something we all must accept. You have to be flexible. Through it all, you have to be patient.
After a certain point, once you have been running for a number of months or years, you will find that new goals become more difficult to achieve. You may try different distances, maybe switching over to triathlons, tough mudders, etc. but whichever challenge you take on,whatever adversity comes your way, you still need to be patient.
The body needs to adapt at the cellular level to achieve new fitness or race abilities. A noticeable improvement for most people won’t happen for at least 2-3 weeks of organized, consistent training or exercise. Typically in periods of 12-16 weeks people will reach a peak of fitness. A 3-4 week back-off from hard efforts is advisable to allow for the body to heal and recover for another well planned cycle of training.
If I could jump into a time machine back to 1995 and tell myself “You can run a marathon, but you won’t do it for 11 years, you will be injured multiple times, it will be frustrating.”, would my past self reply, “Looking forward to it!”? Somehow, I think not. I want a PR (personal record) every time I race, but I know that it just isn’t always going to happen. The patience I possess as an adult is a testament to the adolescent I was. Running has always been my strong suit, but now I know that if I am patient it can continue to get better!