Do the work that’s in front of you. The writer Austin Kleon shared this novel advice in a recent blog post:
What I really crave, more than anything, is a continuity to my days. Not an accumulation, the sense that they’re adding up to anything, not necessarily, just a continuity. The sense that one day leads into another leads into another leads into another on and on and on. That they make some kind of chain.
He wasn’t talking about running or training but of course he could have been and everything he wrote would still hold true. A lot of runners (and coaches) put too much emphasis on accumulating something, e.g., the number of miles they *need* to hit for the week, or sketching out the perfect block of training leading up to a race, or thinking that doing X, and then Y, and then Z in a marathon buildup is going to add up to some predetermined result. And what happens? More often than not, we end up stressing over a crappy workout or worry about a missed long run and think it’s all gone to shit. Take Kleon’s advice: Take care of business today and just do the work that’s in front of you. Worry about tomorrow’s assignment tomorrow. If something goes wrong along the way, don’t panic. Adjust and adapt. In other words: Just keep the ball rolling.