4 Running Mistakes that Keep You Stuck and Frustrated

Sometimes, you just need someone to give it to you straight.

Occasionally Jason Fitzgerald and I do 30-minute coaching calls with new Run Your BQ members to help them build some initial momentum when they join our program. I’ve done a few dozen of these calls now, and in the process I’ve noticed something striking:

Almost every runner’s frustrations are the result of the same small handful of mental mistakes.

The good news is they’re fixable: all but one of these mistakes has an easy, obvious solution, once you’ve identified the problem. And that’s what I hope this post will help you to do.

I’ll repeat: at least one of these mistakes is to blame for the frustrations of just about every single runner I’ve talked to on a coaching call. If you’re not getting the results you want, look extra hard at yourself. Be brutally honest, and see if one of these mistakes isn’t behind your lack of progress.

Awareness of the problem is the first step to fixing it, and a huge one. After that, I’ve suggested a solution to each to get you started on the path to correcting it. The rest, of course, is up to you. 

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How to Go Plant-Based (When Your Partner Won’t)

iStock 000006045828 ExtraSmallOne of the most common questions I get in Q&A sessions following talks:

What if you want to go vegan or vegetarian, but your partner is not on board? 

And I never have a good answer. I was very fortunate that from the minute I came home and said, “Honey, I want to try being vegetarian,” she said, “Let’s do it!”

Same with going vegan a few years later. So while I can give suggestions (don’t be preachy, lead by example, and look for recipes that can swing both ways), they’re based only on others’ experiences.

My friend Jeff Sanders has such firsthand experience; he’s a nearly-raw vegan and his wife is an omnivore. I asked Jeff if he’d help me answer this common question, and this post is the result.

Jeff, by the way, is the host of a fantastic podcast called the 5AM Miracle — one that I’ve started listening to as I’ve become more intentional about my mornings (even if I’m still sawing logs in my bed at that ungodly hour). I was even a guest on the podcast a few months ago; so have been other vegan runners Rich Roll and PJ Murphy.

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Lift’s Quantified Diet Project: The Largest-Ever Measurement of Popular Diets

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Not a lot of people online know this about me, but I’m a numbers guy at heart.

The only time it really comes out nowadays is in posts like my randomized plan to quit coffee (before I embraced the habit of enjoying a single, delicious cup of the stuff each day) and in the mindset to create formulas instead of recipes.

But prior to starting No Meat Athlete, numbers were my life: I was in grad school working on a PhD in Applied Math (I decided to stop with a Masters after No Meat Athlete took off), and spent my free time — when I wasn’t running or cooking — building models for sports betting and poker-playing, or reading books about randomness, artificial intelligence, and game theory.

Not even three years removed from that life, I still have a soft spot for numbers, and that’s the reason for today’s post.

You may have heard of Lift; it’s a habit-change app that uses coaching, group accountability through check-ins and encouragement, reminders, and other tools to help people reach goals — but it gets especially interesting when you consider the information that so much activity creates. With all of this user-generated data about what works and what doesn’t, Lift is in a unique position to discover new things about how human beings change habits.

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7 Inspiring Links, Books, and Changes

It’s January 7th, which means two things:

  1. We’re a week into the new year! Not a bad time to check in and see how you’re doing, if you’ve got some changes to make this year.
  2. Today is the last day to get Wake Up (my new 31-day program) before two of the bonuses go away. I added a brand new bonus yesterday (to help people whose goal it is to start a blog or podcast); see the end of the post for details on that.

And it also means … I’m going to write a post with some 7’s in it.

And then, after a few much-needed days off to put some of my own resolutions and plans into place (described below), I’ll be back.

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From Running a Marathon to Running Across the Country — Nicole Antoinette on Setting Monster Goals

Podcast Radio2I’ve been writing a lot recently about setting big, crazy, and unreasonable goals … and Nicole Antoinette certainly knows a thing or two about the subject.

Over dinner in Los Angeles two months ago when our conversation turned to running, I asked Nicole if she was training for anything. Knowing Nicole as someone who had run a marathon or two and likes a good challenge, I figured she might be thinking about a 50K or 50-miler.

Casually, Nicole told me that she had something slightly bigger in mind. She planned to run across the country — from Santa Monica, CA, to New York City. And not on some undefined, it’ll-never-happen day in the future, but starting on March 1, 2015.

Let me say that again — Nicole has run two marathons, and nothing longer. And she’s going to run across the country next year.

At a time of year when we tend to think a little bigger than usual, it was an absolute pleasure to have Nicole as a guest on the No Meat Athlete podcast. In this inspiring episode, we talk about goals, accountability, her plant-based diet, and so much more.

And before you download the episode, I have some good news: Nicole has been generous enough to offer her 15-Step Bullshit-Free Goal-Setting Formula (which normally goes for $28) completely free as a bonus for anyone who buys my 31-day program, Wake Up, before the end of the day on Tuesday, January 7th. If you could stand to have a little bit of Nicole’s optimism and ability to think big rub off on you, you can get all the details about Wake Up here before Tuesday.

Enjoy the episode!

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How Nicole set a monster goal as a way to change her story
  • The essential components of an effective goal
  • What goes into running across the country
  • How Nicole plans to stick to her plant-based diet while crossing the country
  • How to stay excited about a goal that’s more than a year away
  • 3 steps to goal setting that most people get wrong
  • How to make choices now to keep your goal on track in the future
  • Why Nicole quit drinking alcohol

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Why Goal-Setting Doesn’t Work

Yep, you read that right. Coming from one of the biggest goal-setting freaks you’ll meet.

Goal-setting, the way most people approach it, simply doesn’t work. Not in the quantum-leap, overnight-success way that most first-time goal-setters assume it should.

This, of course, is where most people go wrong with their New Year’s resolutions — they expect that they’ll suddenly have willpower they’ve never had before, and they’ll use that willpower to get immediate and dramatic results.

Most people — and I’ve been one of them — think that once they’ve set goals, magic should happen. As if that’s all you need to do to: set the goal and write it down, then visualize, visualize, visualize, and untold fortunes will soon come flowing your way.

Or, slightly less airy-fairy but no more true, that the simple act of writing down a goal and committing to it virtually guarantees that you’ll find a way to make it happen.

I’ve got some bad news: setting a goal just isn’t enough.

What Makes Goals Work When They Do

Don’t get me wrong: I strongly believe in the tremendous power of goal-setting, when it’s approached from the right mindset. So what’s that mindset?

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