Success is How You See It

The 'glass half full' is real and can reframe negative situations

How do you define whether a run or a running cycle has been a success?


If you successfully navigate yourself back from the injured list and have a good week of training, is that a win for you?

If you run a really well-executed race but don't set a PR, is that a win for you?

If you are keeping up with the small things - stretching, foam rolling, strength work - and it's leading to bigger training opportunities, is that a win for you?

As runners, we're always looking ahead. Always reaching, striving, aiming for the next goal. The next good run, the next banger of a workout... We are programmed to always be pushing toward the next thing.


In this post, I want to focus on what we should be calling a success but probably don’t.

- Returning from an injury after doing rehab and cross-training.
- Sticking to your running pattern. For me, in this cycle back to fitness, it is 3 days of running, 1 day off. As I get stronger and fitter, it’ll move to 4/1.
- Doing active stretching and activation prior to running.
- Improving turnover with at least bi-weekly striders.
- Tracking mileage on shoes and rotating them out before they lead to an injury.
- Varying your training locations, surfaces, distances, and paces.
- Creating and using positive self-affirmations when times get tough.
- Managing the highs and lows of daily, repetitive training.

Running and racing are often scored as a win or a loss, but if you only look at them as wins and losses, you'll miss out on so much more. Take, for example, you train really well for an upcoming race. You've done the small things, you ran all the miles you could have, and on race day, you get really bad weather. You tough it out and you run a really gutsy race, but your time doesn't stack up to your previous PR. Is it a win or a loss?
Depending on how you mentally frame this, it could be either. But what I want you to take away from this is that every situation has a positive and a negative. You can decide whether you see an event as successful or not. It's a choice!

Friday’s Action Plan:

Reflect on your training and racing. Use a training log to see where things have gone well and where you need to focus your attention.

What’s Got My Attention:

Article: NJ marathon canceled for 10/16 weekend 

Article: Sha’Carri Richardson to race all 3 Jamaican Olympians over 100 meters

Popular Articles on the Blog this Week:

30 Days to Running Fitness

How to Increase Your Stride Rate

Popular Newsletter Sessions:

Small Changes, Big Results

Upgrade Your Warmup

Quote of the Day:

Working hard is important, but there is something that matters even more: believing in yourself.

Connect with me:

Here’s what I’m working on and what I’d love you to check out:

What Marc's Up To

Thanks for following along on the journey! Have something you’d like to add? Have suggestions or comments? Email me: TrainwithMarc@gmail.com

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Marc is a middle school teacher and coach but also works with distance runners online. I help distance runners around the globe by providing support, writing customized training plans, and designing workouts to help them reach their racing goals. I write for my blog every Wednesday morning and newsletter every Friday morning.