Friday, December 30, 2022


Back in the misty past, I used to read a lot of academic papers, many of which dealt with motivation.

As a very rough rule-of-thumb, folks are most motivated when they have a 50% chance of achieving their goal.

Consider a 6th grade boy shooting baskets. He becomes bored if every shot goes through the hoop. He becomes frustrated if he rarely sinks a shot. The distance where he is most motivated to practice his shooting skills is the distance where roughly half of the shots go through the hoop and half miss.

Knowing this, I set my goal for running my first couple of 5k races as

  • Finishing
  • A time of 40:00 minutes 

So far, both of those goals appear to be achievable but neither is a gimme.

I ran 2.5 miles today and my pace would deliver a 44:10 5k. Still a long way from my goal of 40:00.

In my favor, I have a month until the first race, the actual race course is super flat and the running surface is "energetic" compared to the wet dirt I ran on today. 

A couple of other factors in my favor that it will be a race. Races pull you along. Another factor in my favor is that I was short of "recovery days" before today's effort.

On the other hand, 2.5 miles is not 3.1 miles. I still need to work on stamina. I plan to make another run on Monday. I will probably ditch the stop-watch and just run for distance with no consideration for "time".

If stuff happens and I cannot meet both goals, there is another 5k about six weeks later that I can run.

You will probably get tired of reading about race-prep. Who said free ice-cream was free?


  1. I don't mind reading about your progress. Makes me a little more motivated to accomplish my goals.

  2. That is a very reasonable and reachable time ERJ.

    With Jdub, you are motivating me to hit my own goals - and running in on them this year. I have not run for at least 3 years, so I am moving up slowly. Just did one mile this morning. Also, frankly, I need to get my endurance up for next year's hike.

  3. At 71, my goal is under 45 min. This past year, I've done that 3 times.My training runs are not based on time, but distance. I run/walk/trot about 3.5 miles, not paying attention to the time. When I run the 5K, the first mile is usually my slowest, then I start to push.


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