Neil Featherby: Running goals and how to ensure your motivation survives




I regularly talk about motivation and what lies behind a person’s drive and determination to achieve their goals.

What with the current Covid situation and basically so many things being put on hold, retaining motivation really is so very important.

Earlier this week my other half Steph had to put together a video assembly for the school where she works as a teacher about the subject of never giving up on your dreams and belief if you really want to achieve something. She was also lucky enough to have top triathlete Kimberley Morrison send her a short film clip to show to the children.

However, it was also about all the components which you require to maintain the drive to succeed and of course dealing with any setbacks which are more than likely to be part of a journey towards one’s goal.

In running terms, it is one thing watching a big race on TV and coming away and being all fired up for a couple of days before the desire starts to wane again and another thing to have the real want to achieve something for which the passion to achieve comes from deep within.

I always say to those who I advise that winners never lose. Of course they do, but what I mean by this is that a winner is someone who never loses sight or believe of their ultimate goal.

I had a really good chat with one of my athletes this week about how he would feel if he didn’t have the support and back up of his family.

His answer was the right one and that being whilst he really does appreciate all the help he gets, at the end of the day he is hell bent on achieving his ambitions whatever the situation such is his want to succeed.

Going back to the current Covid situation though, having goals this year have of course had to be restructured and re-thought.

What might have been at the start of the year plans to run in specific races and then being shelved once the pandemic really hit home, to say it made it difficult to find clear light at the end of the tunnel is an understatement. Certainly when it all first kicked in, that’s for sure.

The human mind being what it is though, we soon found our way around things proving just how resilient and resourceful we are at the end of the day. Apart from seeing so many more people putting on a pair of training shoes and taking up running, we also saw Virtual Runs and challenges such as run every day for a month springing up everywhere.

These events very soon became pretty big too whilst becoming part of our everyday life which of course has been vital to keeping people’s minds focused and indeed healthy.

Some of my friends are currently doing a virtual Lands End to John O’Groats challenge and when I hear them talking about where they currently are “I am just coming out of Devon,” I am amazed at just how they talk so realistically about it. In fact with one of them, I actually sent him a message to say what are you doing down in Devon after seeing his Facebook post.

Having a goal or indeed goals, really are so very important to us all. We need them and whether it be one day running a marathon for GB or just getting out each day to jog a mile (or in my case keeping my run every day since Sept, 1st 1981 going), having these targets in our lives is a must. It’s what I call survival!

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