Never compare

I was chatting to a few guys in the gym last tonight and this story came up so I thought I’d share it here.

No, before you get any ideas it’s not that kind of comparing.

Anyway, a few years ago I ran the London marathon. At the same time that I was training for it I was working with a client that had recently completed an ironman triathlon. So naturally when I was on the phone to her the conversation regularly got round to training etc.

After the race I was talking about it again, in particular saying that I wasn’t too pleased with my time (4hrs 31mins).

– “Four and a half hours is my best marathon time,” she said.
– “Really, oh okay,” I said, feeling a bit better about my time after all – I mean she’d done an ironman.
– Then a pause
– “Although the only marathon I’ve done was at the end of the ironman.”

So the upshot was: she’d swim 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles … and then run a marathon as quickly as me.

As I say, never compare!



Filed under Motivation, Running

4 responses to “Never compare

  1. lucyhg

    I find it incredibly hard not to compare my times with that of others, I’m naturally competitive. That said, my goals for events are usually very humble:

    1) to complete the event I’m taking part in
    2) not to be the last one across the finish line

    So far, I’ve managed to achieve both goals in all events I’ve done. If I do a good time for me – then it’s an added bonus.

    So, I agree with you Patrick: never compare with others (maybe just with your own achievements).

    • Hi Lucy – agreed. At my age, ability level and time for training it’s always been about complete and not compete. That said, I do like to set myself goals – but the only competition I’m really interested in is with myself.

  2. It’s so hard to not compare yourself to others, but the best thing you can do is NOT compare yourself. I’ll admit, I’m constantly comparing myself to others and it’s not the best thing. For instance, when I read that your time was 4 1/2 hrs on your marathon, I thought you totally rocked & wished I had that time. My time on my first marathon was 4:59:56. We all need to just be glad that we’re able to go out there and do what we love…run. 🙂

    • I think that’s the thing, or at least it is for me, I’m always comparing myself to the person in front. I don’t expect to win the race, but I want to beat the person in front… and then the person in front of them etc etc.

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