Greatness starts with a single step.

The place to share your goals, your progress and your thoughts on our weekly topics with other community members.

running

"A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Starts With A Single Step"

Breaking-up a big goal into smaller goals is a great strategy for success.  This week we find out how a professional paratriathlete used this approach to become a World Champion.

Since her life-changing traffic accident in 1990, Marianne Hüche has overcome serious injury to become Denmark's first professional paratriathlete. Winning both Long Distance Triathlon and Cross Triathlon in the 2015 World Championships, Marianne is now focussing on reclaiming her titles in 2016 along with winning the Long Distance, Half Distance and Cross Triathlon at the European Championships.

Marianne took time out from her busy training schedule to share her thoughts on being realistic to experience success.

You began your incredible journey with your decision one day to run to a lamp-post. Clearly you were challenging yourself but what made you decide to attempt a marathon?

It is all down to constantly trying to find out how much I can push myself both mentally and physically. My body is much different to others and in the beginning the block was purely mental. When I started to run I found out that this block was gradually disappearing and I wanted to find out what I could push my body to do by running longer and longer distances. I wanted to find the limit of what I could do. You know what? I have not found it yet.

Once you decided to commit to your goal, how did you go about breaking-down this enormous task ahead of you?

I only set small goals to make sure I would succeed in reaching them and get motivated to set a new one. I did not from the beginning set a big overall goal, e.g. running a marathon. Actually I never thought that would be possible at all, so I started with the goal of running 5K, thinking that I would be happy doing this three to four times a week for the rest of my life. But once I achieved this I became curious if I could run 6K, 7K and 8K. I could! And then I set a goal of 10K, 15 and so on.
What advice would you give to first-time runners or people who would like to achieve a fitness goal, run an event or compete but don't know where to start?

There are a few simple pieces of advice that are always good to have in mind:

Finally, for those newcomers who might get carried away with their training, how can someone be sure they are not pushing themselves too far too soon?

Pay very much attention to what your body is telling you! Ít is okay to feel a good and natural fatigue and feel sore in the muscles in the days after training. Continued pain in muscles, ligaments and joints and extreme tiredness is NOT normal and means that you are either training too much, too hard and/or training in a wrong way that will harm your body. Slow down the training intensity and the numbers of workouts per week for a period - especially if you are new in training. If this does not help, seek guidance from experienced athletes or trainers who can help you identify and solve the problem.