This simple mantra saves me at the start of a race from self-sabotage. After waiting anxiously for the start it’s easy to want to chase the guy who flies past me or to keep up with the girl I was eyeing before the gun went off. But I know I can’t hang on to that pace because it’s not what I trained for and by mile 3 I will be done. So I repeat in my head, “run your own race”, and settle in to a good pace for me and challenge myself to do better than before.
The thing I love about this quote is that it holds true for so much more than running. Wherever you are in your fitness, there will be someone ahead of you. Worrying about keeping up with someone else does nothing for you and often causes blindness to your own victories. When you make yourself your competition you can fully focus on your progress and see the gains you’ve made instead of giving into the, “I’ll never be where they are” doubts.
When you get down on yourself by fixating on someone who passes you on your run, does more pushups than you in bootcamp or holds Crow Pose long past when you opted for Child’s Pose; you don’t know what you’re even comparing yourself to. Maybe the girl doing 7 minute miles is training for a 5K and this is her speed interval. Maybe the pushup queen has never attempted near the number of burpees you can crank out. And, let’s be honest, Child’s Pose is the best. My point is, if you stop focusing on their race and put that energy into your race you’ll start seeing your progress for what it is. Yeah, she did 20 pushups and you did 15, but last week you did 12 so in the end you won.
Tracking your workouts is incredibly useful and a great way to boost your confidence for those times you can’t seem to see the forest through the trees. There are a ton of online tools to help you track your progress, but know that pen and paper or a simple spreadsheet accomplish the same thing if virtual tools aren’t your thing. Here are a few to check out:
Often we get caught up in where we want to be and forget how far we’ve come. By tracking even the most basic stats (how many miles you ran that week, how many pushups you can do, how many times you made it to the gym) you’ll start to see how your big picture has changed. What once was an accomplishment – going to the gym 3 days a week – may now be so routine you don’t realize it!
Enjoy this race and be proud of your pace!