PROCESS OR OUTCOME

There has been no doubt that the last few weeks of lock down have been “interesting”.  On one hand some have flourished, and on the other some have really struggled.  For me – quickly establishing a routine was important to be able to get the most of the time at home.  My wife and daughter had gone to the UK with no return date for the foreseeable future.  This in itself presented an opportunity.  One to get into a new routine that would be optimal for this new way of living.  Time outside, moving, cooking, reading, learning.  Keeping accountable with my daily ‘to do’ list and everything accounted for and ticked off on a whiteboard.  This to me is PROCESS driven based on the OUTCOME I want to achieve.  If I were just to focus on the outcome with no process, I have no doubt my daily goals would be harder to achieve.

But let’s bring this back to Endurance.  I often get asked “why do you run?” 

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love showing up to a start line and leaving it all out there on the mountain or road.  There is something magical about competition and the joy of competing.  Even if on the day the battle is against yourself and your predetermined goals. 

I don’t keep all of my race medals, but have some to remind me of moments I have overcome, or races that tell a good story. Hopefully Hana will ask me about them one day and I will be able to inspire her with the recollections.   Generally, on race day I am not driven by the outcome.  As long as I perform to my best, know I could have given nothing more within my ability range and made no mistakes that were ‘controllable’ I come out satisfied.

For me running and training has always been about the process more than the outcome.  I enjoy it!  I love getting up, doing something that makes me uncomfortable and going to bed in the evening knowing that I am just marginally better.  I love going into the mountains with likeminded people, and just exploring, having fun, getting lost.  Races are great yes but If recent events have taught us anything then those that focus on outcome alone will be going nuts, whilst those that are process driven are embracing the opportunity.

This does not just need to apply to fitness.  It could adjust to all facets of life.  Take your job for example - Are you living day to day seeking new challenges and enjoying the process or do you spend you time living for the weekend, the next big salary, or that 2 week holiday you have booked next year. If it’s the latter, I suggest a change.

It’s the same for running.  If it is a mission to get up and train every day, you may hate the process – ask yourself WHY?  What is your driving factor for doing this?  If its just a medal, then I have a feeling it will not be the most successful journey.  If you are in it for the long haul, are willing to give your all to the training, the learning, and discovering new things about yourself – That’s how you win, and you will come out the other side a much better person.

By: Rob Jones, Endurance Coach