Everyone knows the answer to the question below because we have all heard it a million times throughout our lives.
“Congratulations, you have just won the Super Bowl! What are you going to do next?”
Each year the Super Bowl MVP is asked what they are going to do now that they have won the Super Bowl. Without fail, the answer is always “I’m going to Disney World!” or some variation of that. But that answer is scripted for them and has been ever since Phil Simms (the quarterback for the New York Giants) said it after his team won Super Bowl XXI in 1987 [Source]. While this has been a very effective advertising campaign over the years, it has also affected how we treat our goals once we achieve them. I don’t know about you but I would love to take a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland every time I achieve a goal. Winning the Super Bowl is the goal of every NFL team when they start the season. They work hard, train hard and play the game hard with the hope of calling themselves the World Champions for an entire year.
Before I crossed the finish line of my first 5K, I was already asking myself what my next goal was going to be. I enjoyed the experience of training for the race and the self confidence boost that running was giving me so I wanted more. Within a month of crossing that finish line, I signed up for my first half marathon. I spend the rest of the summer building up my endurance and training for that race. This was the right decision for me and I have now finished 5 half marathons.
But what is the right decision for you? When I set my new goal, I asked myself several questions in order to figure out what was the right decision for me.
- Speed or distance? I had to figure out what I wanted to focus on before I could move forward with my training. Did I want to increase my speed or build up my endurance? I chose endurance because I wanted to focus on running farther not faster.
- Strength or endurance or both? Once I realized that I wanted to work on distance, I needed to figure out how I was going to do it. Did I want increase my strength, build up my endurance or a combination of the two? I chose to build up my endurance because that is what worked for me at the time.
- Why do I run? Running any distance longer than a 5K is no joke. When I crossed the finish line of my first 5K, I was sore, out of breath and had walked about a third of the race. You have to truly enjoy the sport to want to run any distance longer than 3.1 miles. I needed to be honest with myself and really make sure I WANTED to run a half marathon (13.1 miles).
- Which race do I want to run? For me, this question was easy because I love all things Disney and had discovered the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Epcot‘s International Food and Wine Festival the year before. After doing more research, I knew this race would be a good fit for me. The required finishing time was very doable for me and I liked the course maps I had seen online.
- Which training plan should I follow? Once I answered all of these questions, I needed to figure out which training plan to follow. There is nothing more discouraging than choosing the wrong training plan and not realizing until you are halfway through it. I chose the Jeff Galloway plan that was provided by runDisney because it fit into my schedule and didn’t require a crazy amount of mileage each week.
When decide what your next goal is, it is important to understand what your ultimate goals in life are. Whether you just want to run 5K’s or you want to tackle an Ironman, make sure it is truly what you want to do. Training and working out won’t be nearly as enjoyable if your goals are based on what the “cool kids” are doing. Ultimately, it is your life and working towards becoming the best version of yourself should be the biggest goal you have.
What is your next goal? Are you aiming for a new race distance or a new PR? How do you decide what to do next?