A few weeks ago I watched a movie called, “Remember the Goal.” The acting was less than stellar, but the movie followed a Christian girls’ cross country team’s chase for a state championship.
A new coach shows up to train the girls and her tactics seem to go against everything the team knows about training. She advises slow, easy runs instead of hard efforts, and a few of the girls get upset and then the parents call for her firing, and there’s some drama in there.
In the end, however, her training plan leads to them winning state. There’s a beautiful montage of the girls pushing through their 5K meet over rolling hills and grassy greens, and as they watch their team name rise on the scoreboard, they realize they’ve won state.
Because they ran easy runs to build endurance and hill work to build strength and when they got to race day, they knew how to evenly pace themselves.
Throughout the movie, the coach tells them to “Remember the goal.” When the girls don’t understand why they’re not training harder, she tells them to “Remember the goal.” When they narrowly qualify for regionals because the coach has them run the race at tempo pace, she tells them to “Remember the goal.”
The movie (albeit cheesy and a late night pick) reminded me about my own pacing and how I’m not always great at running evenly. I recently did a story about intuitive pacing for Women’s Running Magazine and some great experts talked about why it’s so important to develop that sense.
All the experts I talked to said most people run too fast in their daily training. I’ve looked at my own pacing and noticed I don’t always know what my effort level is. I know I should be running my long run at a pace about 55 percent to 75 percent slower than my 5K pace, but I don’t always hit that mark. I’m usually faster.
I’m working on teaching my body to know what “easy” pace feels like. And with that, I’m trying to remember my own goal: To be a stronger runner.
That will mean running a little slower sometimes.
Does that sound counterintuitive? Yes. Will it be hard? Yes.
But it’s something I’m working on. What are you working on this week?