From a young age we are motivated by visual evidence that we are making progress. First it was the height chart on the wall indicating that we were getting taller and closing in on dad. Then our junior school teachers had a myriad of progress charts from ones that we got to fill up with gold stars and smiley faces to the classic barometer that we got to color in bit by bit and watch it fill to the top. Next came semester tests, physed fitness tests, monthly sales target charts and annual performance appraisals. All very simple tools that show, I was here, then I did all of this, and now I am all the way up here.
When it comes to our fitness and running goals, tracking and reflecting on your progress is just as valuable for maintaining motivation. Speak to any successful runner and they will soon be wowing you with statistics and charts of days run, days not run, weekly mileage, elevation gain, average pace, personal bests, weight gained and lost… the list goes on. Very soon you realize that these guys run their training much like the CEO of a large corporation, tracking every gain and loss to make sure they stay on track to make target.
With the current array of GPS devices, smart phones and community fitness applications and websites, it is not only super easy to track your progress, but also fun. Many come with motivational messages, fitness challenges, goal awards and more. My personal favorite is the way one is able to connect to a worldwide community of runners where the “average Joe” can compare, compete and challenge like a Pro.
So set some goals and get tracking!
Good luck and let me know how it is going.