What have you done in your life to make you feel proud?

We often celebrate the achievements of others but seldom our own.

A year ago today, I did this…..

50 miles before my 50th birthday

I ran 50 miles in one day, two days before my 50th birthday.


Two reasons really. One was that all my other goals had gone ‘oot the windae’ (out the window) as a result of Covid restrictions so this one felt nice to do before my big birthday.

The other reason was replicate my proudest achievement – running all 4 races at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival (5km, 10km, Half Marathon, Marathon) in the same weekend in 2014. I did that as part of a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of my Dad’s passing from cancer the year before.

My Story | Steve Bonthrone Personal Trainer

This time was different. I signed up to do all 4 races again, but virtually, and needed to run an extra 1.4 miles as the total distance was ‘only’ 48.6 miles. That would be my warm up!

How To Run 50 Miles

Like achieving any other goal, I broke to down into chunks. 

That was made easier due to it being individual events rather than 50 miles in one go. My strategy for running marathons is to break it down into 2 x half marathons or 8 x 5km plus a wee bit on. When I get to mile 23, I just think of a ‘parkrun’ to go as it’s 5km and something I do every week.

When it comes to your goals, think of them in a practical terms. What are the things you want to be able to do once you’re fitter or have lost weight?

The goals become easier to achieve when you focus on the things you want to do once you’ve achieved the goal.

In this case, I got up around 5am to run 2 laps of a course I had in mind for the 1.4 mile warm up followed by 3.1 miles then 13.1 miles. It was easy to think of it as 2 laps and remembering to stop my watch at the end of each ‘race’ run.

I came home to have some food, get changed and go back out to run the 10k plus the marathon. I had a 10k route in mind so would run it then do it another 4 times, and a bit more, for the marathon.

Not If, But How

My whole coaching philosophy is built on HOW you want to achieve your goals, not IF.

Regardless of what your goal is, it’s never a case of if you can achieve it or not but how you want to do it.

I help you create that vision of you achieving your goal then work back the way to create the steps to get you there.

This approach helped me throughout this whole challenge but it came into it’s own for running the marathon.

Like in 2014, the marathon was the easiest I’ve ever run. All I had to do was get to the finish.

The important thing to know is that when you start working towards a clear goal, you will ALWAYS complete it. The only reasons for not completing it are a lack of clarity around the goal or the value in it isn’t high enough.

For example, weight loss and getting fit are not strong enough goals on their own. They both need clarity on what they mean to you and what difference it will make once you’ve achieved it.

In this case, I just focused on keeping moving and each lap I was running. The conditions weren’t brilliant and the paths were icy but I found a way to run without slipping.

It became easier to count down the laps I still had to do. It didn’t sink in until I passed certain landmarks for the last time and I was close to the finish.

I even visualised being able to finish with a sprint! I do this with every client and it makes a huge difference when you know how you want to complete your goal. The rest is just gearing up to make it happen.

I managed my sprint finish! In my head I did it anyway.

Perhaps to anyone else watching on, it was more of a shuffle but I don’t care.

Your Story

Think of your own journey towards your goals like a story. Think of the story you want to be able to tell everyone, not only of what you did but also how you did it.

That can change the way you do things and how you feel along the way.

I always believe in going after the things you really want. The things you’ve always wanted to do or dreamed about doing.

When you achieve your goals, do it your way and complete it the way you dreamed about when you started.

When you do that, it can potentially change your life and you never know who you’re inspiring along the way.

So, what have you done that’s made you feel proud of yourself?

What did you do? How did it make you feel doing it? What difference has it made to the goals you’ve gone after and achieved since then?