When you walk into a gym and see someone squatting with 150kg on their shoulders, you’d think about how much they’ve trained to get there. You’d consider the sheer impossibility of you ever attempting that, and instead, you lace up your shoes and head out for a run. After all, finishing a 5-K is considerably easier.


Running is a sport for anyone – to keep fit, to challenge yourself, or just to catch up with friends. But to do it well, hours and hours of running, and dedication to proper nutrition is needed. Competitive running is life changing in the sense that it comes with a lifestyle change.

Last Saturday, we talked about challenging yourself. You’ve got to set a specific goal (one that is really going to get you up and moving) and sticking to it in order to start seeing improvements. That is going to require perseverance. In the race itself, when you are starting to feel dehydrated and sore, it’s also perseverance that’s going to keep you going.

Yet, it’s difficult to teach perseverance. Let alone give you a list of 5 tips for better perseverance. Instead, we’d introduce the concept of a ‘heart goal.’ Unlike a ‘hard goal,’ where it’s all about numbers, a ‘heart goal’ is the personal reason you have for achieving a better PR, or a longer distance.

When you think: I want to get fit.

What your heart goal might be: You really want to get yourself out of the rut of a sedentary office lifestyle, and stop feeling so sluggish and exhausted from climbing out of bed. At age 37, confronted with the debilitating first signs of aging, getting fit means staying healthy and maintaining heart, body and mind strength for the later part of your life. Hal Higdon says that to become a successful marathoner, you need to: a) follow a proper diet, b) eliminate extra body fat, c) exercise regularly, d) get adequate sleep and e) avoid alcohol and smoking. So a 42.195km might be a ‘hard goal,’ but wanting to better your living habits (which setting yourself up for a marathon can) to see your kids get married might be a ‘heart goal.’

Whether it’s pride, or wanting to prove to yourself that you’re better than what you think, or to become a hero for your children, find your ‘heart goal.’ With it, you can push yourself to persevere.