On Record: Improving in 2011

In my last post, I challenged you to improve your fitness in 2011 – just improve from last year.  If you didn’t do *anything* last year, this should be easy.  My ambition for this comes from a common motivation we all have inside which is to improve in what we do, in all aspects of life.  While we spend 40+ hours at work each week and are constantly trying to improve as an employee or as a business owner, what about our fitness?  Shouldn’t we bring the same initiative to improve to our fitness life?

I’ve been a runner for quite a few years now.  I’m not fast.  But I have gotten faster. Or am I just more experienced?  My marathon finish times (in chronological order) are: 4:06, 3:59, 3:47.  Looking at the raw numbers you might think I’ve gotten faster, but if we got into the details you’d see that the last time was in the fall after I had done the 3:59 earlier that spring.  So I had a huge advantage.  Why do I mention this?  Because there is so much room for improvement – and that’s the name of the game today, right?

I would never challenge my readers without being willing to take my own advice. I want to improve my races in 2011.  I’m still unsure of what the fall will hold for a race.  But I know the spring I’m doing the Madison Half Marathon.  Here’s how my challenge will work for that: My fastest half marathon time is 1:47.  The problem is that this was the first split as I was doing Madison full marathon.  So my cardiovascular system was trained for 26.2 – how easy is 13.1?  Very.

But I’m still going to beat that time.  In 2011, I’m going to run the fastest 13.1 miles I’ve ever run.

Remember, the challenge is only to improve. For me that means running faster.  For you, it could mean many things:

  • running more days per week
  • running your fastest 5K
  • lifting weights 3 times per week all year
  • doing 50 pushups per day for a month

The beauty of training is that it is so personal.  You are where you are; I am where I am.  But part of my motivation is to challenge you to take the next step towards improvement.  As Will Rogers said, “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.”

4 thoughts on “On Record: Improving in 2011

    1. Hans Schiefelbein

      Chad, it has been my experience that setting great goals is the key to discipline in exercise. It’s rare that you find the people who can workout and stay in shape just for the sake of staying in shape. But for me, when I put a race on the calendar and have paid my money, told a few friends… that’s when I put useful motivation to the test.

      You don’t have to be a runner. And it doesn’t have to be a full or even a half marathon. But some kind of athletic goal is essential to giving your exercise routine some context and motivation. Let me know if you want me to put something together for you or talk more via email.

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Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

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