A Real Challenge

I really think people take on the wrong challenge.

You’ve heard someone say he/she wants to run a certain race for the challenge of it? They love the challenge. Right? It’s actually an interesting claim and one that is misplaced. Follow me for a moment.

  1. If you love a challenge then you enjoy things that are difficult not easy (comparatively) to attain. Right?
  2. The bigger the challenge the more gratifying it is to pursue. Right?
  3. If you can make that challenge even more challenging than the reward is even greater. Right?
  4. So, stop training. Enter your race. Just go for it. Now you have optimized your challenge and increased your pay off. (Not to mention you saved a bunch of time you would otherwise waste on training.)

It is in the everyday challenge that people fail.

The irony of course is that the challenge of some race is not the real challenge for most people. I meet many people in my business who love setting a “challenging” goal. (Some whom are in fact urged to do so by so-called motivation gurus or in seminars.) But they completely miss the boat. Why? Because they are not willing to take on the real challenge.

  • The challenge is in fact doing the training.
  • The challenge is in following a training program and not skipping workouts.
  • The challenge is in maintaining sound nutrition through out your training program.
  • The challenge is in doing your exercises, drills, and cross training to stay healthy along the way.
  • The challenge is in not making excuses.
  • The challenge is in finding ways to get everything done that will optimize your conditioning for race day.

And if you are pursuing the challenge of running PRs, winning age groups and the like, you aren’t exempt!

  • The challenge is in doing the workouts you need instead of enjoy.
  • The challenge is in doing all the things to stay uninjured for continuity of training and progress.

It is in the everyday challenge that people fail. It is this challenge that we should embrace. The race should be graduation day. The race should be a celebration of taking on all the challenges along the way to arrive at the starting line fully ready to take on the race and be successful.

Need help with overcoming the REAL challenge? Trouble committing to doing what you need to do to reach your goal? Drop me a line. I can help.


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
This entry was posted in Challenge, Excuses not to run, Goal Setting, Mental Game, Mental Toughness, Motivation, The Running Life - Philosophy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Real Challenge

  1. I do my hiit in a glycogen depleted state. Either after a long run or after fasting 14 hours or more. My workout consists of three sets of 6, 30 second bursts all out followed by one minute of walking. I use a section of hill with a 17% grade. When training I do that three times a week. Last year I set a PR of 6:46 in the Ohlone 50k.

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