We are wired from childhood to think that being last in anything is the worst place to be. As we grow up we go through highs and lows of being last or being first. I am seeing a lot of parents take the opposite focus with their kids, that it doesn’t matter where you finish, finishing itself is the biggest achievement. Which I personally think is great! When you want to win, you will work hard and do what is necessary to win, but not everyone wants to win, sometimes they just want to finish the race.

I have recently started seeing a running coach, Greig. He runs a five week running workshop which is a range of high intensity interval training (HIIT), slow runs, recovery runs, technique training with cross and strength training. So, last night (Monday) was the first run I attended as part of Greig’s run group. I was nervous as hell, having never met anyone from the group before, I have also never run as part of a run group led by a run coach either. I was worried that I would be the slowest, that I would drag the group back (especially as we were running up Mount Vic in Wellington, IT IS A VERY HIGH INCLINE the whole way up). All in all, I was apprehensive that I would actually enjoy it, mostly because of my personal perception that I am not as fit or as good as the other runners.

We started the run, all was well and good until we started the incline up Mt Vic. Slowly and surely, the front of the pack got further ahead and I was the last one trucking up the hill slowly dying with every step. Here is the great part… Logan, who is a part-time trainer and attending the run for fun, started coaching me on different techniques to help me get up the hill, he stayed with me the whole way up and the whole way down and provided me with one on one coaching for the full 45 minute run.

Being last in the group last night, was the best! Greig did tell me that he would be racing ahead with the front of the pack to keep an eye on the speedsters, so it wasn’t like he left me to die on my own, he had already talked to Logan about running with me and coaching me as I went for my very first run up that hill.

I loved it. I struggled, but I enjoyed the challenge and the pain. I can’t wait to do the same run again in four weeks to see how much I have improved.

I want people to remember that it’s not the worst thing in the world being last or being middle of the pack, especially when you are starting out. You can be lucky enough to get one on one coaching for being last, just like I did!!

We all have to start somewhere. Use the speedsters who are flying ahead as inspiration that you will one day be one of them, you just need to work hard and be motivated to get there with the right training! Always remember though, you are only competing with yourself, comparison only hinders your mental ability to believe that you can do it!

Fitness isn't about being better

– TashTasticNZ –