The goal setter

imageIn the popular TV quiz show “The Chase”, Bradley Walsh always asks each contestant to say what they would do with their potential winnings.  I watched the show the other day and was struck by one woman who was very specific about what she wanted; it was a Mini and a very specific model and colour.  Now, as anyone who has watched this game show will know, there is a point where each contestant has a choice, whether to “go high”, make things more risky for themselves but having the potential to generate a much bigger winning pot.  This lady did make this choice and as a result generated additional prize money for the whole team, who each eventually won £20,000 each, certainly enough to make this person’s dream a reality.  The point is that having a goal drives behaviour and a bigger goal makes you do bigger things.  Having a very specific goal makes it real for you.

For some time I have had a goal to run the London Marathon, but it is also important to have shorter term goals.  In December I had a goal to run 100 miles (I did over 120), my Janathon goal is to run or have a gym workout every day.  At London, I want to run it in under 3 hours 58 minutes and 36 seconds (my current PB).

Today was one of my gym days.  One of the benefits of a gym is that you can do a variety of different things to make a change from just running.  I like to warm up on a cross trainer, it feels very different from running and isn’t so harsh on my limbs.  All part of injury avoidance!



imageThe receptionist asked me if I required a wake up call in the morning.  The second receptionist laughed and told her that I would probably be the first person up in the morning, knowing that I often go out for an early morning run.  It’s great to have a positive reputation and it makes you feel good, but how do you get one; what does it take?

The answer of course, is simple: you walk the walk (or in this case, run the run)!  When my alarm went off this morning at 5:00 AM it didn’t feel good.  I looked out of the window to find that in-line with the weather forecast, it was “chucking it down”.  My first reaction was to consider going back to bed for a few hours, after all, what really would be the consequences ?  Then I remembered some of the reasons why I love running first thing in the morning.

  • It gets the job done.  Many people say they don’t have time but by going out before breakfast you make time;
  • It makes you feel brilliant afterwards;
  • There’s no one else about and very little traffic on the roads and
  • I heard some research that it trains your body not to make fat and that in a study, those who excercised first thing didn’t put on weight.

So, needless to say I did go out; a quick 3 mile lap around the Metro Centre and yes, it does feel good.

A home from home?

IMG_0210I am really not a fan of staying nights working away from home, but one of the few benefits is that you can explore new running routes.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve stayed at the Marriot Gateshead but there are some great running routes.  The one I did today takes you along the south bank of the Tyne from the Metro Centre to the Millenium Bridge and then back along the north bank, finally crossing the river again over a road bridge near the Metro Centre.   This route was opened up to me for winter evening running by the discovery of the head torch, a great invention and I think every runner should have one.  Since the untimely demise of my deluxe Silva, I had to resort to the “Dalek” torch again (see yesterday’s blog) which, despite its cheapness, does a pretty good job.

The other benefit of staying so many nights in this hotel is that I’ve managed to save enough reward points to afford some luxury when we stay in London for the marathon – it was meant to be.