It was 2003 and I’d never run any kind of race before. I was doing my internship to finish up my degree and thought it would be fun to join everyone else in the gym in this “Main Street Mile”. It was only 1 mile so what do I have to train for? The day of the race they placed us in chorales based on speed. I’m fast, I knew I could run at a good pace so I made my way to the front. MAJOR mistake! The gun went off and we all started to run. I of course wanted to keep up so I started FAST. Well, by 1/4 miles into the run I was gassed. Everyone started to pass me real quick and I had to talk my way through the rest of the race. I had no idea a mile felt that long when you sprinted the first 1/4. I did complete the race in 7:24 but it took me the entire rest of the day to recover. And I probably could have done so much better if I knew to pace myself.
How many times have you busted your butt to complete something, then looked back and realized there was an easier way? Clearly, the least I should have done was practice running one mile properly. I think we all underestimate the importance of preparing ourselves for the tasks we have ahead. We need to prepare mentally and physically. How can we do this? We have to establish a plan. I could have easily asked a seasoned runner their advice on what I should have done to complete that mile (comfortably…) Don’t let you ego get in the way of asking someone for help. It will help you get through the task so much better and more prepared so you don’t end up killing yourself to get it done. So whether it is a fitness goal, nutrition goal, occupational goal, etc seek out someone who has completed that particular task before or a professional in the industry. You may learn quite a few things from their experiences that will save you time, money, or just physical stress.