It must be that time of year…
So many people that I talk to are researching, thinking about and registering for something big.
It must be winter and perhaps a sense of cabin fever mixed with a feeling of “dog on the chain” that is getting to people.
If this is you and you are planning on signing up to run something bigger, harder or more extreme than you have previously, there are some questions that should be answered before the big day arrives…
1) How much of a jump is this challenge going to be for you?
2) How WELL do you want to finish this challenge?
3) Based on your answer to question 2, how much time will you realistically require to prepare appropriately?
4) What are your current barriers to success? (injury, work, family commitments, energy levels, etc.)
5) Do you know the course/challenge well enough to make informed decisions about what you need to do?
6) Do you know someone who does know the course/challenge well enough to ask advice from?
7) Will your current nutrition plan be suitable for the increase in training load/intensity?
8) What sort of terrain/environment will be best for you to train on/in?
9) How much and what kind of training do you need to be doing now and how will that change as you get closer to the event?
10) How strong is your intrinsic motivation to achieve this goal? You will need a strong reason “Why” to sustain you through the hard work that is to come.
Can you answer all these questions? If not, sit down with someone who has already done something similar to the goal you are setting for yourself and discuss your plans. It is amazing how much simply talking to someone about your goals can clarify and solidify things for you.
I find that the answer to question 10 is always the most important. Just about everything can be overcome if the WHY is strong enough. There is however a great amount of certainty and confidence that comes from being able to answer all 10 questions before you jump onto the long road that will get you to your ultimate destination.
So take your time, consider the goal, consider the path that will lead you there and consider the point from which you are beginning.
Success is never more than a well-constructed and actioned plan.
Above and beyond all that though, remember question 10. 🙂