When potential clients come to me, they typically have a goal in mind — for most, it’s a race distance,  achieving a PR or qualifying for Boston.  For others, it’s losing weight or becoming more fit.  In order to help them achieve their goal, one of my first questions is Why is this important to you? 

I usually get a big pause before the typical, “well, I just want to do it.”  And then I ask again, Why?  And after a couple more rounds they usually come up with a reason, which is often very personal.  And when they do, I receive the best gift of all in being able to coach them — understanding what motivates them. And then the goal becomes much more achievable.  

Your Why is your tool to keep motivated when you have tough days, workouts or races. And you will.  80 percent of running is not great — it’s hard to get out of bed, motivate yourself to do the run/workout, communicate with your coach and stay positive. This is why your Why is such an important tool.  It becomes your sense of purpose that is more important than any single workout or race.  Look at Susan G Komen  and the people (men and women) who have embraced and taken on the challenge of completing a 5K or 3-day walk.  It changed people’s lives and gave survivors and family members a sense of purpose — a Why — that got them to do something they never thought possible.  Your Why is anything that is deeply personal to you – a cause, a reason, a feeling you want to have.  And by reciting it every day, it becomes a part of you and you believe you can — or at least you will try.

So today, do you and your running a favor and determine your Why.  Then write it down and post it on a place you go to every day — refrigerator, bathroom mirror or your office vision board.  Once you do, you have taken the most important step toward understanding the power of a runner’s mindset.  

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