How to Successfully Meet Your Expectations, Running or Otherwise

“Don’t Lower Your Expectations to Meet Your Performance. Raise Your Level of Performance to Meet Your Expectations.”

~Ralph Marston

What running goals do you have for yourself that you’re struggling to meet?

I’ve made no secret about my desire to qualify for and run in the Boston Marathon.

Admittedly I’m still a good bit slower than I’ll need to be to qualify for the race, but I absolutely expect that I will qualify for Boston.

Meet Your Expectations

How to Meet Your Expectations, No Matter How Lofty They Are

The first step is rather obvious: don’t quit.

And quitting can take on multiple forms:

  • Giving Up
  • Making Excuses for Failing to Meet Your Expectations
  • Lowering Your Expectations

All of these are akin to quitting, because in each case you are letting yourself off the hook of what you originally expected from yourself.

As long as you don’t quit, you keep moving toward the goal that you are expecting to achieve.

And that’s the key, continuing to move forward.

Don’t Try to Do Too Much At One Time

Successfully being able to meet your expectations requires, at least in part, you are successfully able to manage your expectations.

Now, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t set big goals for yourself with the expectation that you will be successful.

On the contrary, I love setting big goals.

However, successfully meeting your expectations is likely going to a process that unfolds over many weeks, months, or years. If you fail to realize this truth, it may literally become impossible for you to meet the expectations you have set for yourself.

Start Eating the Elephant

Instead of trying to do everything right now in order to classify your goal as met, start chunking it down and making progress.

For my goal, an overview of my process of eating the elephant looks like this:

  • Qualify for Boston
  • Run 1/2 Marathon Ahead of BQ Pace
  • Run 10 Mile Race Ahead of BQ Pace
  • Improve Pace of Tempo Runs
  • Run Easy Runs Easy, Hard Runs Hard

There is no sense of me worrying about running a BQ if I can’t run that pace for 10 miles. So I’ve created landmarks to work toward to help me keep progressing forward.

The first bite of the elephant is pretty straight forward, start running my easy runs easy and my hard runs hard. I’ve been far too guilty of running with medium effort for most workouts, and that has hindered my performance in races.

So while my goal is still to qualify for Boston, right now I’m working on the first step that it is going to take to get there.

And as long as I follow the steps and keep eating my elephant one bite at a time, I’ll get there.

Do the same, and you will get there too.

What Big Running Goals Are You Working Toward?

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