Malcom Gladwell wrote a book called Outliers where he postulated that anyone who spent enough time doing any one thing would likely become an outlier, or someone who fell outside the normal bell curve. He stated that people who are outliers spent at least 10,000 hours practicing their craft and, thereby, became great, accomplished people. For every Bill Gates there are thousands who want to be Bill Gates, but they’re not willing to devote enough time to attaining that goal.
Consistency is the answer
to being better at anything you do
and running is no exception.
I see a lot of seasonal runners who fill the sidewalks and trails in the spring and fall. In the middle of summer and the dead of winter, there aren’t many people to dodge on those same sidewalks and trails. Some of them are on the treadmill, and that’s great, however, many of those fall and spring runners are busy packing on a few pounds and increasing their cholesterol numbers when the weather is tough. Of course, that’s fine if you don’t want to be the best runner you can be. There is certainly nothing wrong with being content with being a seasonal runner, but
you can’t expect to either excel at the sport or to be as healthy as you can be without consistency.
When you’re consistent in your running, there is a cumulative effect that takes place. It’s something you can’t feel taking place, but it is there. Each day you’re getting better, stronger and faster. It’s like making small deposits into a bank account each week. After all the small deposits, before you know it, you bank account has grown more than you would have thought. When you take time to be consistent in your running, one day you’ll go out for a run and things will click like never have before. You will feel great, and you’ll be grateful for all those hours you spent on your feet.
There is no substitute for consistency and no way to simulate consistency without actually doing it.
Hard work and consistency are nearly synonymous words in running. Probably the toughest work is simply getting out there for every scheduled run and following through on your commitment to bettering yourself.
I have a friend who had never run through the winter until a few years ago. Now, she’s over 40 and much faster and in better shape than she has ever been! So where will you be this winter? Will you hang up your running shoes during the cold weather? Or, will you stay consistent with your running?
In the same way, we have to be consistent in our relationship with God.
Building the habit of Bible study and prayer can be difficult with all the demands on our time and attention. There will be days when it feels forced and we don’t feel good about it. But, at some point, it will click and you find yourself closer to Him than you had ever dared believe. One of my favorite quotes is, “You have to have bad days, otherwise you have nothing to compare the good days to.” If we are consistent through all days, good and bad, we’ll have more good days, whether running or studying our Bible.
Dean Thompson, Run for God Director
For more information on Run for God visit: www.runforgod.com