Three Goals For Any Race

Every time I run a race whether it’s a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon or any triathlon distance, I walk away having met three goals that keep me coming back for another race.

It’s what makes me want to improve and better myself every time I make it back to the starting line… and it’s also what helps me keep my life goals in check.

Here they are.

  1. Finish – For some of us, getting to the finish line is probably a big deal. Not to mention that getting to the starting line is a big task in it’s own right. But once we’ve started the race, it’s time for us to push through and get to the end. For some of you, this number one goal is not to just finish but to actually win the race or place well in your age group. That within itself is impressive. When someone asks me how my race went, the first thing I tell them is I finished. Because let’s face it, it’s up to us whether or not we quit in the middle of the race. For me, quitting isn’t an option, but it’s sometimes a temptation.
  2. Improve – Every time I am in a race, I’m looking to see how my training has helped me to improve in a few areas during the race. In triathlon, sometimes this is all three sports (swim, bike, run) and the two transition times. For the past two races, I’ve been focused on improving my running and nutrition during the race. Little changes have given me big results. right now these races are also showing me where I need to step it up on the swim and bike. With the running races I’ve done lately, the improvements have everything to do with form, efficiency and nutrition.
  3. Learn – Learning is key in anything with are doing right? But in racing everything little thing we experience is something we can learn from. Even down to how early or late we show up for the race. I can go back and look at my different race times and know what I could have done to shave off some time. I can learn from what I’m eating or drinking to make the next race feel better on the inside. This also applies to what I’m eating the days leading up to the race. No matter what, I’m always walking away from a race having learned something new about myself and what I could do to improve on my way to the finish line. Every learning experience is one more opportunity to help you become healthier and sometimes even faster.

Now… take all that I’ve just said and think about your life.

We have many goals in our lives. Raising a family, being a great spouse, making a good living, etc… that’s all fine and good.

But when I’m looking at my life. My overall goal looks like this.

Am I becoming a better person and learning from not only my failures but also learning from my successes? Am I learning from the good and bad choices I’ve made? Am I becoming a better person so that I can give my best to those around me?

And really… am I living the kind of life where at the end of my life either my family and friends can say… He finished life well.

You see. These three goals for any race can also apply to our lives. If I’m learning and improve on who I am as a person, it’s probably going to spill over into my physical life and the goals I set for my overall health.

How would you apply these goals to your life or to your race?


The views expressed here are those of a personal nature and do not reflect the corporate view of my employer or anyone else who employee my services.
  • Wayne Stiles

    Good stuff. It reminds me of Paul’s athletic metaphors in his letters. 

    • Spence Smith

      Thanks Wayne… I need to go back and read that. You are right!

  • Lead Connect Praise

    Great post, and great reminder to not just sit back and “let life happen” to us, but to be actively working towards creating the life that we desire. I find that when I am working out every day, my entire life seems more balanced and focused. Exercise seems to be the propellant to moving forward for me.

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