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The Importance of Pacing: Be Consistently Good, Not Occasionally Great


Picture this. You’re standing at the starting line of a track, ready to run a mile. You lace up your shoes, stretch your muscles, and start the run while tracking your progress on your trusty Garmin watch. However, within a short distance, you find yourself panting heavily and feeling fatigued. Glancing at your watch, you realize you’ve only covered 0.32 miles.

In the world of fitness, this scenario highlights an important parallel that extends beyond running. Pacing isn’t just a concern for athletes; it applies to everyone in life. Pushing ourselves too hard too quickly can lead to burnout, boredom, or even quitting. This blog explores the concept of pacing, its significance in various aspects of life, and the wisdom of being consistently good rather than occasionally great.


The Impact of Pacing

When embarking on any goal, be it personal, professional, or relational, maintaining a sustainable pace is crucial. Just as running too fast exhausts your body, rushing through life’s challenges can have detrimental effects on your overall well-being. By finding the right balance between effort and sustainability, you set yourself up for long-term success.

Experienced running coach Jeff Cunningham offers valuable insight into this topic with his quote: “It’s better to be consistently good than occasionally great.” Take a moment to reflect on this powerful statement. The essence of his message is that while it’s impressive to give an intense four-hour workout your all, it may leave you unable to exercise for the rest of the week due to fatigue and soreness. On the other hand, consistently performing at a sustainable level allows you to make steady progress towards your goals.


Applying Pacing to Various Goals

The concept of pacing isn’t confined to fitness alone; it extends to every aspect of life. Let’s explore how maintaining a sustainable pace can benefit different areas:


  1. Professional Goals: In the pursuit of career success, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and grind. However, constantly working at an unsustainable pace can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and diminished enthusiasm. By setting realistic expectations, prioritizing self-care, and finding a sustainable work-life balance, you can achieve consistent growth and maintain your motivation.
  2. Relationship Goals: Building strong and meaningful relationships takes time and effort. Rushing into deep connections without allowing them to develop naturally can strain friendships or romantic partnerships. By pacing yourself and nurturing relationships through consistent communication, trust-building, and shared experiences, you create a solid foundation for lasting connections.
  3. Life Goals: Whether it’s learning a new skill, pursuing a hobby, or making significant lifestyle changes, maintaining a sustainable pace is vital. Trying to accomplish too much too quickly can lead to overwhelm and decreased motivation. By setting realistic milestones, breaking tasks into manageable steps, and celebrating small victories along the way, you can sustain your progress and stay motivated on your journey.


Pacing is a fundamental concept that applies to various aspects of life. Just as a poorly paced run can leave you exhausted and discouraged, rushing through goals can lead to burnout, boredom, or even quitting. By adopting a mindset of being consistently good rather than occasionally great, you ensure sustainable progress, increased motivation, and long-term success. Remember to find the right balance between effort and sustainability in every endeavor, and embrace the power of pacing in your journey towards achieving your goals.


With Strength,

Joe Bonini

Employee – CM1 Performance

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