Competing for a personal best

by keeprunningstrong

Not great, but try and beat it.

While this isn't the greatest 5k – keeping in mind that the run includes hills and street crossings – it is my personal best, and I plan on beating it.

Casual running can sometimes lack the competitive edge essential for motivation. Running the same monotonous speed daily can take a toll on the mindset of a person jogging to be healthy or fit. After all, we’re not all naturally gifted.

We, average runners, hit the trail or the street, zone out in a blank stare and move about in the same manner routinely – ignoring the dullness and the strain on our mind.

The Challenge is to stay inspired while keeping the urge strong.

Compete – add a goal:

Every now and again I time myself in a 5k – this is 3.10 miles. And with local communities organizing annual events, the race has gained popularity.

A 5k is long enough to be considered a challenge yet short enough not to harm a beginning runner focused on increasing speed. Read this article to get an idea of how to begin to train for a 5k.

Running this distance fast keeps my competitive juices flowing.

Randomly, I’ll time myself, trying to outdo a previous personal best. Other joggers and runners might stare, wondering what the heck I’m doing. Yet nothing stands in the way of the finish line … usually my home.

While my best time pales in comparison to the runners who are winning the local races, I try not to compare myself too much to them. The goal is to beat my personal best.

A couple of weeks ago I timed myself in the 5k. I felt strong and motivated, and the timing felt right. While lengthening my strides, I maintained a faster pace and breathed a bit harder than normal, indicating a strong showing.

The results were not disappointing, but I could do better.

My time of 21:15 is a new personal best. But I’ve raised my goal to finish in less than 20 minutes, and I’ll have to work hard to do this by July 4 – the day of the Huntington Beach 5k, The Surf City Run.

Here is a decent running chart to aid someone trying to run the 5k in under 20 minutes. This workout chart is roughly what I’ll be following.

But I am motivated. And challenging myself is how I stay interested.

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