Although the concepts I’m going to discuss aren’t original, I’m going to coin a new phrase called the DPP Principle. A principle is defined as a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. DPP stands for discipline, persistence, and patience. Cohesively apply these three concepts together to reasonable running goals and it will result in success.
When I say discipline it means setting “realistic” goals, putting a plan together to meet those goals, holding yourself accountable, being consistent, keeping a good attitude, and making no excuses. It is developing a routine and executing good habits.
Persistence is refusing to give up or let go in spite of difficulty or opposition. If you ask most successful people what was the most important thing to achieve success, very few will say talent or intelligence, but persistence. Regardless if you feel tired, bored, or want to quit, you need to have that mindset to press on. The world is littered with people who were on the cusp of unfathomable success, but lacked just a little more persistence to get to the promised land. I have looked back on my life and wonder what could have been on certain goals and ambitions if I would have just stuck with it a little longer. So be a bulldog when it comes to running and you’ll eventually be amazed.
And finally patience. Most good things take time and when it comes to running, it could literally mean years. When you initially start running, the improvements seem to come fast and you become more motivated, but inevitably everyone begins to plateau. However, keep at it, because the improvements will still come, but they will usually come in smaller steps or streaks. It took me about 15 years to finally qualify for the Boston Marathon, but it eventually happened. I’d get so close, miss qualifying by a few minutes, until I finally had that breakthrough marathon. Running will have many ups and downs and full of frustrating injuries, but if you are disciplined and persistent, good things will eventually happen if you are patient.
Applying the DPP Principle to your running is not easy. In fact it is very hard work and your progress may not be readily apparent day-to-day. It is only when you look back you’ll actually see how far you’ve come. Maybe that 5 mile run you did in 50 minutes a year ago is now being easily done in 40 minutes. Running will give back exactly what you put into it and if you incorporate all three of these elements, I can almost guarantee good things will happen.