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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Failing to achieve every goal humbles you

When you fail, it definitely hurts but it also makes you realise how much harder you need to work. It also makes you aware that your opponent isn’t out there to let you just win.

other-sports Updated: Aug 18, 2018 08:43 IST
Rajat Chauhan
Rajat Chauhan
Image for representational purposes only.
Image for representational purposes only. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Too many of us have a sense of entitlement because we think we’ll work hard and we’ll succeed in whatever we do. It starts from getting good marks in school, to getting into a good college and then to getting a dream job with to-die-for-package. Just that ‘failure’ is inevitable, it’s not about if, but about when it comes along. Some experience it sooner in life and other in their middle years leading to mid-life crisis. The later we come face to face with it, surprisingly less prepared we get.

All sports, specially running humble you. You lose to the other team or miss your planned target, repeatedly. I find it fascinating how grown-ups behave when they can’t meet their planned time for a particular distance in running either during training or during races. It’s complicated by the fact that most are trying to achieve too much way too soon. Slow down, enjoy the journey. Destination is over-rated.

When you fail, it definitely hurts but it also makes you realise how much harder you need to work. It also makes you aware that your opponent isn’t out there to let you just win. The bigger lesson is that running or any other sport could be important to you, but there is a lot more to you. Life carries on.

ALSO READ: Bad running form responsible for knee pains, not running itself

At times you need to lower your expectation, just a little bit. Probably you were just expecting too much from yourself. Failure leads to disappointment and sleepless nights. But just lowering your goals, very slightly so, helps you yet struggle, but get there.

Life is about balancing. This slight shift in expectation will make you equilibrium a lot better, a lot more sustainable. You can’t mess up your personal life because you missed you target time of 10km, half or full marathon by a few minutes. It’s totally fine if you couldn’t run non-stop for 30 minutes.

Too many of us get too obsessed by our running achievements. It’s because we value our worth based on what ‘friends’ on social media would think of us. It does not matter, at all.

Exercise of the week

Even though this column is targeted more at new runners, to do anything in competition, you need to first experiment with it in practice. In this case I am talking about the pace you desire to be at if you are taking part in any event. If you plan to run a 10 kms race and do it in an hour, you need to first experience what is that pace like over a kilometre, i.e. 6 min per km. It’s totally fine if you are not able to do the distance in the given time. It’ll give you a reality-check as to how capable are you of meeting your target.

After resting for 2-3 minutes and catching your breath, repeat the same as above. Do 2-3 more repeats. It’ll be totally fine to be off the mark but get used to the idea of maintaining the same pace for all the kilometre repeats. The tendency will be to start too fast and last kilometre will be too slow. If you only fix that problem over next few months, that’ll be job well done.

Over next month, the plan would be to maintain the expected race pace as suggested above for 6 repeats. Again, like life, there will be good days and bad days. There wouldn’t be improvement each time you do this. You need to do the above once or twice every week.

Disclaimer: The writer is a Sports-Exercise Medicine doctor

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 08:43 IST

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