Better to set modest goals?

by | Dec 8, 2015 | Exercise, Fitness & Rehab, Personal Stories | 0 comments

runners in clown costume

My goal was to improve my personal best in the 5K.

About 8 months ago I started running with a weekly running group. In between the group runs, I tried to work running into my overall fitness program.

The last time I had run a 5K distance was about 5 or 6 years ago, setting a personal best of 28:45. The most modest goal I could set was to surpass that time.

I got a lot of encouragement from members of the running club. Too much encouragement, in fact: when I signed up for the Clash Dash 5K on November 15th, I was convinced I could obliterate my previous personal best, perhaps even sneaking past the finish line in under 28 minutes.

The morning of the Clash Dash was cold. The course included a lot of hills. I barely squeaked in with a time of 28:41 – a scant 4 seconds faster than my previous personal best.

Congratulations to me.

What did I learn along the way?

I confirmed the general wisdom: you can continue to improve your fitness at any age. I intend to keep getting more fit each year till at least age 80.

On the other hand, the degree you can improve diminishes.

For one thing, the amount of effort it takes to gain fitness becomes greater and greater as you age. And there’s a second factor. You become more prone to an injury, and when an injury does occur, it takes longer to fully bounce back.

runners in clown costume

Here I am getting passed by a 10 year old girl in a clown outfit

That’s why one component of my practice is keeping the aging athlete at the top of his or her game.  I make sure your joints and connective tissues are in balance and that nothing is preventing your healing from proceeding in an optimal manner.


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