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Keeping Pace, Issue #013 -- Goals, Motivation and Clean Food for the Long Run
September 11, 2013

Stoke the Fire Within

Goals are fundamental for our forward progress. They give us a daily reason to train and provide a measure of growth and achievement so that we can experience real gratitude in our lives. Big goals take much time and nurturing, and the journey to reach your big goals will bring good days as well as more challenging days as we move out of our comfort zone.

Even those of us with a great support system around us can find ourselves losing our way every now and again and have to find our way back on track working towards the things that mean something to us. It’s vital that you do find your way back though, since there is nobody on the planet that will nurture or really care for your goals besides you. Therefore finding ways to stay focused and motivated to keep working towards your goals is up to you too!

Have you ever wondered where your motivation comes from? It’s worth contemplating, if not for the days when you find yourself low on it. Even if you find inspiration by the words and deeds of others, the most powerful source of motivation to continue working towards your goals, will always come from inside of you. And the fuel for your motivation lies in the heart of your goals themselves.

Napolean Hill, in his book ‘The Law of Success’ highlights that having a clear purpose is the most fundamental and critical first step of all the 15 principles for success. To get what you want, it is paramount that you know exactly what it is that you are working towards. Your ‘definiteness of purpose’ will help to be a constant reminder as to why you get your butt out the door to train every day. Think about how many people you have heard say “I want to lose weight…feel better about myself…have more energy”...

Many of us got into running and perhaps keep running motivated by the prospect of losing weight and feeling better about ourselves. However, when it comes to effective goal setting, losing weight and gaining more confidence are not quantifiable statements. You should know exactly how much weight you want to lose or what % body fat you intend to achieve. Otherwise, how will you ever know when you have achieved one of your milestones?

Runners have a great advantage here, as an excellent goal strategy is to focus on specific running events (organized or unorganized) to complete throughout the year. This will automatically give you the dates, places and times of your goals. You can further specify exactly how fast you plan on completing your chosen event if you choose to do so. And the best part is, as you pursue your running goals with gusto, weight loss, increased self-esteem and increased energy level are just some of the side benefits that you will experience along the way!

Part two of staying motivated has to do creating stepping stones from where you are now to your bigger long term goals. It can be discouraging to try and stay motivated for big goals that are far away, so ensure that you always have many smaller short term goals to focus on such as a tune up race every month or so. Short term goals can even be brought down to the daily workout level. Rather than obsessing about how many miles you have to run, think about how much more motivating it is to focus on your next reward drink at mile 2, walk at the next aid station or a sweet treat at mile 9.

So the next time your running priorities are threatened by a wane in motivation or hectic schedule, think of this great quote from Mary Morrisey:

"What's going on inside you is much more powerful than anything that's coming at you!"

Food for the Long Run

We're always on the look out for clean, great tasting energy food that's easy to digest on the run. These home-made bars inspired by Lara bars really hit the mark. What more can I say...the folks at rock!

Chocolate Chunk 'Lara' Bars

  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut (dried, grated/shredded)
  • 150 grams (5.5oz) pitted dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 50 grams (about 2oz) 85% dark chocolate, chopped


  1. Put everything except the chocolate into a food processor and whiz until it's crumbly but not to the point that it forms a dough ball.
  2. Remove to a bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate.
  3. Wet your hands a bit and form into log or bar shapes. You can also dump it into a square 8x8 pan, pat it down with a spoon, put it in the fridge and slice into squares. I find the log/bar form easier for running and hiking because they are thicker and don't fall apart whereas the squares come out thin.


You can use any kind of nuts you want. You could add in other things like cinnamon, dried fruits, grated carrots or apples etc...

- See more at:

MYRG Quote of the Month

"All life is a chance. So take it! The person who goes furthest is the one who is willing to do and dare."

Dale Carnegie


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