A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to coach 116 athletes at the Austin half marathon. For these athletes their why is a concrete one. To find a cure for an illness they are all in one way or another impacted by. I had the honor and privilege to speak as the charities inspirational speaker the night before the race where I talked about the importance of having a why. Having an intention for our training and racing can mentally be that extra 1% that pushes us just a little harder. Our whys can change race to race and its important to go back to them on a regular basis.
Below are some of the most frequent whys I hear from the athletes I work with:
Winning/PR/Time Goal - This is the why I hear the most often. Write that time goal down. Frame it and put it near your bike. Take a picture of podium and carry it in your bag. Visually seeing something like a time goal helps our brain internalize it.
To set a good example - Maybe you want to teach your children the importance of hard work on dedication. Maybe you want to show someone the health benefits that will come from training. Whatever and whoever you want to set an example for, use it.
To raise money for something you believe in - Look around at any race and you will see that there are a lot of amazing people doing things to support causes they believe in. If you have the opportunity to visit the organization you are racing for, it will make the experience that much more rewarding.
To be social - I started running because I was 21, living in Boston, and needed a new hobby besides going out for drinks and dinner with my friends. Over the 10 years I lived there, the people I ran and trained with became my family. I showed up to hang out with my friends, and I traveled to races with him because I had a fear of missing out.
Just to say you did it - If “I’ve always wanted to run a marathon is on your list” treat your training and race just like the list you've put this on. Do your training each day, check the box, and move on. Then move on to the next item on your list.
If you’re having trouble figuring out your why maybe its time to step back and re-evaluate. Or work with a coach and mental fitness professional to maximize your results and your why.
This post was written by Mental Fitness Expert, Lori Ashworth.