Set the right goals

Photo by Ronnie Overgoor on Unsplash

I’m writing about goals in terms of running here, but the same thing applies to all aspects of life. The thing is, we can do so much more than we think. I really started thinking about this after running my second marathon. At the same event, there were a lot of “celebrities” running the half marathon. After finishing the race, they celebrated and talked about it like they had won an Olympic medal. Don’t get me wrong, props to them for completing the race, but I couldn’t stop thinking “why didn’t they run the full marathon?”

Again, I don’t want to take anything away from these people. And I’m sure they “don’t have time” to train for a full marathon, have physical limitations, or have any other reason. But I think they also set the bar too low. The reason is, I’ve been through the same journey.

I was by no means a “runner” when I decided to run a marathon. In fact, when I set out to run my first marathon in 2018, I had to stop running because of injuries. My longest run that year was 5km. In early 2019, after analyzing what I did wrong in 2018 and coming up with a new strategy, I started running again. In August I ran my first marathon.

Don’t set the bar too low

The point I’m trying to make here is that at no point did I even think about running a half marathon race, my goal was the full distance from the start. By doing that, running a half marathon was just another Sunday long run. A half marathon was a great accomplishment for me — but if it would have been my goal, it would have been a lot harder than it was now. In that case, in my mind, a half marathon would have been the longest distance I could run.

When you’re standing at the start line on race day, and you’re still uncertain you will make it, then you know you’ve set a good goal.



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Andreas Westerlund

Andreas Westerlund

Endurance athlete, digital nomad, nerd. Just a normal guy trying to figure out fitness, business, and life.