There is a saying that it takes 10,000 hours of training to achieve excellence. Whether that is an accurate/exact number of hours, there could be much debate. But one truth remains, to achieve excellence in any endeavor it takes practice, training, and perseverance.
I am fortunate to have good health (though a bit too heavy) and have completed 14 half-marathons in the past 10 years. My most recent finish was at the Cape Town Two Oceans Marathon on April 16th, 2023. I finished, but I was ill-prepared. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a “slogger” when it comes to running and can run slow with the best of them. My fastest time was in San Diego a few years ago. I was lighter, younger, but most of all “well-trained.” I had properly followed a training regimen and was able to complete the event in 2:10 time, or just under a 10-minute mile.
Now Cape Town! I had completely undertrained. My longest run was around 7 miles, and that was only once. The only thing I had in my favor was muscle memory and body endurance from past events and triathlons. I have also acquired a mental toughness knowing I can and will complete any event I sign up for and set my mind to. However, this is not a good plan. The result was a 2:55 time for the marathon or over 13 mins per mile. My slowest one yet!
Failing Forward. This comes from the title of John Maxwell’s book. It is ever so fitting. I have personally failed in so many areas, but each one was a learning experience. I love to say, “our life is the total of all our experiences, good and bad.”
In life, we need to research, train, and prepare in every area. School, relationships, work, promotions, faith, family, social, hobbies, health, races, triathlons, and the list goes on. We must put in the time to achieve success. Now if you do not desire excellence, then do what I did in Cape Town…”wing It.” (not a good plan)
To achieve a high level of success with excellence and to meet and exceed our goals, we must plan, prepare, and train to be our very best!