My First 5k: Part I

14th January 2015

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On the importance of setting goals

I’ve only gone and done it – I registered for a 5k race, finished it and survived. Not only that, but I was pleased with my time – the aching legs were totally worth it.

It was a gift that started this; for Christmas in 2013 I received a Daruma (a traditional Japanese ‘wishing doll’). Used for motivation towards a goal, Daruma begin life with no eyes. Draw one eye on when you have a goal in mind, and draw on the 2nd eye when you complete it. With my new Daruma, I needed a goal.

The running bug

I’d dabbled with running in the past and long wondered about taking part in a race. I have friends who have done everything from 5k to marathons and really admire them. The idea stuck with me as the months passed.

With the onset of summer I started to jog again, following a C25K program. My friend Mark – whos brother is a keen runner – had the same idea. We would joke about running in the next Olympics and winning marathons. All the while, my Daruma sat on the shelf, eyeless.

Setting a goal

I kept plodding through C25k. Sometimes I would be out three times a week. Sometimes I would go so long between jogs I’d repeat the previous session so I didn’t push myself. But that was the problem – I wasn’t pushing myself. Then, in late July, Mark messaged me. Did I want to take part in a 5k race in November?

You know you say on your website that you want to do a 5k run?

I did. Suddenly I had a goal. My Daruma got his first eye.


By the end of that weekend, we had signed up to the Leeds Mo Run 5K event as a team of four. Our name was to be either Jupiter Mining Corporation or Bulgarian Super-Athletes. Not important to the story, but still funny.

Goals give you something to aim for

I’d had the idea in mind for a while, but adding an eye to my Daruma (and posting it to Twitter and Instagram of course) felt like a milestone. I had commited to something. I now had a target – I would be running the Leeds Mo Run 5k – and having that goal gave me something to work towards.

Having a goal made a difference. I wasn’t out every day chewing up the tarmac for mile after mile, but my training was consistent and I could feel myself improving. I wasn’t Mo Farah but the confidence boost that training gave me was a real difference-maker, and it all came from setting a goal.

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About the author

Rik Kendell is a developer, designer and writer in Leeds, UK, specialising in responsive WordPress websites. With over 10 years experience in the industry, Rik has worked on award-winning teams at agencies, in-house and as a freelancer. Rik has worked with clients ranging from the NHS, Sky and Skipton Building Society to McDonalds, Lamb’s Navy Rum and Crabbie’s Ginger Beer.

Outside of work Rik is also a keen writer, an amateur woodworker, gamer and foodie. His blog posts, reviews and Tweets have been published by the BBC, the Evening Standard, the Guardian and the Independent. He has written guest posts for a number of agencies and industry websites.