Mountain trail running

Go Slow, Never Stop

5 Minute Read

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." – Confucius

Today's midweek motivation quote takes us WAY back to ~500 BCE. Wisdom so old, it outlives even the token 100 year old at every trail race.

Anyways, the quote brings us back to the fundamentals of perseverance and resilience.

Confucius’ wisdom reminds us that the speed of progress is somewhat irrelevant compared to the consistency of our efforts. It is essential for runners to adopt this mindset, especially when approaching new race goals, long training cycles, etc. that are tough to tackle. 

No Doubt

Ultimately, the point here is to emphasize that steady progress, no matter how slow, is still progress. If you think about it, this is particularly applicable for runners feeling doubtful.

Because the heart of this quote, in a sense, removes all doubt about whether or not the goal will be achieved. If you're training for a new race distance that is REALLY going to push your limits, you might question if you can really get it done. But the reality is, all you need to do is consistently make progress and not quit. If you fail the first time, fine. Doesn't matter. Everything is progress, just keep going. 

Eventually, you will get to your goal, it's just a matter of when. And so, if quitting is no longer an option, the only thing stopping us from eventually achieving our goal with 100% certainty is death. And at that point we've got other things to worry about (or not).

When we set ambitious goals, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Whether it’s training for a new race distance, aiming for a personal best, or simply striving to maintain a consistent running routine, the key is to keep moving forward, one step at a time.

Progress Over Perfection

In running, as in life, the path to success is rarely a straight line. There are setbacks, plateaus, and unexpected challenges. It’s super (super duper) important to realize that what we perceive as setbacks, is actually progress in disguise. How much more valuable is our training, now that we’ve encountered [fill in unfortunate situations here]? Answer: infinitely more valuable. Training is for the body, the mind, and anything else needed to get the goal achieved. And so, as long as you’re putting in effort and gaining experiences of any kind, you’re getting closer. 

Confucius’ quote reassures us that the pace at which we achieve our goals is irrelevant. What matters is the commitment to keep going. This perspective helps us stay motivated, even when our progress seems slow or insignificant.

The Real Victory

Whether you’re motivated for the simple love of running or driven by competition, you will end up training consistently - especially if you take this quote to heart.

And, if you’re training consistently, you will strengthen your passion for the sport. It’s not something you need to think about, it’s something that will just happen. That is a Long Run guarantee. 

And so, this means we can learn to love it all. Bad runs, good runs, failed races, won races (probably not this one for most of us), etc. Just keep running, it’s all making progress, you’ll get to your goal eventually, and you’ll develop/strengthen your passion in the process. 

Final Thoughts

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." – Confucius

This quote is a powerful reminder that perseverance and consistency are the keys to success. As runners, embracing this mindset can help us stay motivated and committed, regardless of the pace of our progress.

Everything we learn here is meant to help us build a routine we love, and train consistently. With consistency, we build passion.

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