I suck at a lot of things: Trying to get too much done in a day. Working out regularly. Keeping my closet clean. I try to get better but change is hard no matter how much you want to. Especially for the things you suck at.
“I was feeling only slightly better than average most days. This is no way to live.”
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you should be feeling about average most days, that’s kind of what average means (assuming a whole bunch of pointless caveats, you know what I mean). If you are disappointed in only feeling “above average most days” then you seem to have two problems.
What you think of as average is actually slightly below average, those “most days” that you are feeling “slightly better than average”, those are actually your average days.
You think that feeling average is bad when it is really the default state.
Caffeine is a performance-enhancing drug that’s legal, cheap, and easy to get: chances are you had some this morning. More importantly, it actually does make you better at sports, which is more than you can say for a lot of supplements marketed to athletes. You just have to know how to use it strategically.
In fitness, just like with any skill, you won’t stay a beginner forever. I’ve seen many people graduate from beginner territory in fitness without knowing, and this leads to problems. Let’s look at how to recognize when you’re no longer a beginner and what to do next.
There are lots, including myself, who focus on the minutiae of fitness (diet specifics, calorie counting, macros, etc.) when they should just be getting in there and doing the work. I think they get overwhelmed from making such drastic changes and lose their willpower instead of getting in a routine.
I wouldn’t categorize myself as “intermediate”, more like “beginner plus”. I’m learning more about how and what to do, pacing. There’s a base to work from – a foundation – but if that makes me “intermediate”, then there’s a lot more levels …or “intermediate” is wide and vast.
It’s much easier to progress when you have a good base.
There’s nothing wrong with goals, dreams. Part of achieving those is having attainable goals, and differentiating between goals and milestones. It can take a lot of discipline – sometimes we have an aptitude, sometimes we don’t.
It depends on what you’re doing – every three days can be overdoing it. But it’s why I do a race report – to recall what happened, and ruminate on how to improve it. I’m fairly happy and confident about how the overall process of a triathlon – my issues largely break down into what I can do in a specific event (IE running) to improve my time.
It’s not failure if you learn from it, or better yet – improve. No one is perfect every time, all the time.
The marathon is a fickle beast: at 26.2 miles, the potential for back luck is huge. After 20 miles you’re in the Wild West and anything can happen. That uncharted territory can bring disastrous consequences, reducing your goal marathon pace to a shuffle or leading to a few too many bathroom stops.