Setting the right goals for yourself can be the key to improving your performance. Find out how Swiss long-distance runner Viktor Röthlin is focusing himself on going for gold this summer.
Know your body
This summer, ASICS ambassador Viktor Röthlin will be one of the few Europeans able to challenge African dominance on the marathon course.
At 37, some critics might suggest he’s pushing himself too hard.
“I've been my own trainer for the last 12 years,” shrugs Viktor, who is also a qualified physiotherapist. “So I know my own body and am honest enough with myself.”
Earlier this year in Tokyo he finished in fifth place with a time of 2:08:32 .
But he felt he hadn’t pushed his body to the limit , giving him hope of going further in the year’s biggest race.
“That race gave me a lot of confidence. In my next big marathon event this year, I'll definitely be able to run more aggressively,” he says.
Break down mental barriers
Performing at the highest level is as much about mental strength as it is physical. The same can be said about all levels of running whether it’s a 10K run or a full marathon.
“We Europeans are always putting limits on ourselves, but they become so engrained in our minds that they stop us from improving our times ,” says Viktor.
He’s learnt from the attitude of the Kenyan runners who over the years have shown there’s no limit to what they can achieve.
“If you ask anyone from Kenya who wants to run a marathon what time they would like to do it in, they'll say 2:05 or 2:06,” he says.
“Not because they know they can do it. Just because it's fast. And maybe that's what I've learned and what sets me apart from other Europeans – I don't put any limits on myself .”
When it comes to reaching your goals, you still need the right preparation.
For Viktor that means training – and lots of it.
He does the majority of his running out in the Swiss countryside, making the most of the hours alone .
“These opportunities to get away from the modern obsession with cell phones and the internet and to get out into the open countryside improve my quality of life,” he says.
“I don't need music or anything to relieve the boredom when I'm running.”
Three quarters of his sessions are outdoors, and he doesn’t let up – even in midwinter. In fact, long runs are also a kind of meditation for him. “It allows me to philosophise a bit about life. And sometimes, when I'm running, I don't think at all. It's like I'm in another world,” he says.
Set your goals
Viktor Röthlin knows his goal and with the right preparation he’ll be hoping to light up the world stage this summer.
Of course, we’re not all athletes at the highest level. But having the right goals will help you improve at every level .
A good goal should always:
- challenge you
- push you beyond your personal best
- be achievable and realistic
With My ASICS you can set your goals and keep track of your training .
With just a few details about your current performance levels, you’ll be able to see what you can achieve. You’ll even get a training plan tailored to help you do it.