One of my goals for this year is to run in and complete a half marathon. Initially, I had a vague idea/pipe dream of completing one to get rid of a ghost from my past. However, since casually mentioning the idea to some family, friends and colleagues it has become more of a commitment (Cialdini principle – commitment & consistency) and a challenge that I want to complete. I have now taken the first step on exorcising, or perhaps that should be exercising, that Ghost and meeting the commitment I have made, I have now booked my place for the EDF Birmingham Half Marathon on 24th October 2010.

The Ghost

In the early 1990′s when I was in the Territorial Army I started the Royal Engineers’ Long Marston Half Marathon but had to stop after about 6 miles, it appears I had committed one of sins of an inexperienced runner. A few days before the event, I went out a bought a nice new pair of running shorts having trained in Ron Hill Trackster leggings. Little did I know the price I would pay for this… After a mile or two my inner thighs were getting sore, by six miles they were bleeding and were raw to the point that I could hardly walk let alone run. So my race was run.

Ever since, on and off I have reflected on the event and not completing it.

My 10 Steps to Half Marathon Success

As I wrote 10 steps just then I chuckled to myself, 10 steps, I wish… more like 23,000 to the finish line. Anyway, enough distractions. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will be aware that I posted a series of posts back in June/July on success principles called Success Planning – 10 Steps to Success; these were as follows

1. Vision – a desired future state, something to set your sights on
2. Goals – well formed and specific goals, that contribute to the attainment of the vision
3. Motivation – the driving force to action, the reason why you wish to pursue the goals & vision
4. Belief – your confidence that you can accomplish your goals
5. Planning – the need to explore options, activities, prioritisation and scheduling time
6. Personal growth – attainment of new skills and knowledge to assist in the accomplishment of your goals
7. Getting help from others – may come in many forms, for example, key skills, specialist knowledge, support
8. Execution, Execution, Execution – taking action and actually getting things done
9. Measure and Review – measure your progress, review the progress against plan and take necessary actions
10. Celebrating – enjoy and reward yourself for achieving your goals. Build confidence

As a demonstration of the principles covered in those posts and as a framework to guide me to successful completion of the Half Marathon, I am going to blog weekly on my preparation for the event and how these principles are being applied.

In this first post, I share with you my thoughts on steps 1 to 8. Through the remainder of the posts, I will use steps 7 to 9 as my guidance and ultimately step 10.

Here we go then
Step 1 – Vision: to run in and complete a half marathon
Step 2 – Goals:
On October 24th 2010 I will complete the EDF Birmingham Half Marathon in a time of 1:59:00 or better
I will complete the EDF Birmingham Half Marathon on 24th October 2010 and raise £1000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association
Step 3 – Motivation:
1. To complete a half marathon and ‘exorcise’ the ghost
2. To achieve the goal
3. To honour the commitment I have made
4. To raise money for charity
5. To achieve something from the various fitness training that I do
6. Give myself an ongoing incentive to keep training
Step 4 – Belief:
I believe I can do it, after all millions of ‘ordinary’ people of varying ages have done it. If they can do it, I can do it!
Step 5 – Planning
I have researched and booked the event.
Researched training programmes
Allocated time in my diary to complete the training plan and what other activities, besides running, that I need to do to build my fitness.
Step 6 – Personal Growth
Training for a half-marathan is not just about running – lesson learnt
Training for a half-marathon requires rest days – lesson learnt (painfully)
Top tips, do not change your running gear just before the race – lesson learnt (very painfully)
Step 7 – Getting help from others
Information on event from my cousin, work colleagues and the EDF Birmingham half marathon website
Training programmes from people who contribute to running websites
The people who run the running websites
Family & friends for support and encouragement
Family, friends & networks for sponsorship (yes, that means you ;-) )
GoMAD Thinking, Gary Ryan Blair and fellow coaches for help on goal setting and success planning
All the other people who have run such events for proving it can be done!
Step 8 – Execution, Execution, Execution
Event booked
Training plan downloaded
Training plan/training times allocated in diary
Week 1 of training plan underway

Based on this assessment I believe I have a firm foundation to move forward, as I do I will be applying steps 8 & 9 to progress and looking to you and others for help (step 7)

How can you help?
If you would like to help me along on this journey, there are a couple of things you can do
Follow my progress on the journey by reading my posts on this blog and on Posterous
Get your family and friends to follow me on the journey
Sponsor me – I have set up a JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/robjcameron

I will keep you posted on how I’m getting on