“Did You Win?” A simple method to stay on track for your goal


I’ve been a runner for over 35 years but to this day, whenever I’m visiting my parents and get back from my run my father asks, “Did you win?” Now, just getting out the door and going for a run is definitely a “win” but I think my dad’s onto something more profound.

Each and every day, you have the chance to improve yourself. Dr. Stan Beecham, sports psychologist and author of Elite Minds, believes that it is the daily win or loss that makes or breaks your chance to realize your dreams. Do what you need to do, day after day after day, and you will soon find yourself in the best shape of your life.

To stay on track for their goals, he advises runners to not only record their miles, splits and paces in their logbooks (or preferably on the new McMillan Running training platform). He wants us to evaluate each and every day as an overall W (win) or L (loss). Mark each day in your log or on your calendar so you can step back and see the bigger picture.

Collect more W’s than L’s week after week and your goal becomes very attainable. Sure, you’ll have your days when you “lose” but if you can minimize their frequency, you give yourself the best shot at success.

Now, this winning and losing has little to do with competition with others. It has to do with competition with yourself, and not just with your run training but with all the other aspects (nutrition, prehab, mental training, sleep, etc.) that help you become a better runner. Dr. Beecham has found that runners who log their W’s and L’s, begin to focus on the daily battles of doing what they know they should do, increasing the chances that they will prioritize the things they know will help them to their goal. You’ll really dislike putting an L on the day so you’re highly likely to start doing more of the things you say you need to do to be a better runner (and that’s a W).

And, let’s face it. Most days could easily be defined as a W with just a little extra work – simply getting out the door for your run when you don’t want to, eating a healthier diet, doing your core work 2-3 times per week or even listening to your body and taking a day off. No matter what, you know in your heart whether you earned a W or L for the day.

So, as you finish each day, ask yourself, “Did I win?” The more often you answer yes, the closer you become to the you you know you can be.

Written By Greg McMillan
Called “one of the best and smartest distance running coaches in America” by Runner’s World’s Amby Burfoot, Greg McMillan is renowned for his ability to combine the science of endurance performance with the art of real-world coaching. While getting his graduate degree in Exercise Science he created the ever-popular McMillan Running Calculator – called “The Best Running Calculator” by Outside Magazine. A National Champion runner himself, Greg coaches runners from beginners to Boston Qualifiers (15,000+ and counting!) to Olympians.

Read Greg’s Bio




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