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Home » Unlock Your Running Potential for Growth and Success with Alexander Golik! Ep74

Unlock Your Running Potential for Growth and Success with Alexander Golik! Ep74

#074 – Are you tired of trying to push through life with an ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset, only to be left feeling defeated and unfulfilled? Alexander Golik (AJ) is here to share the solution that will help you achieve that change. 

After quickly winning championships in Spartan Deka and Hyrox hybrid races, AJ fell into the trap of having an all-or-nothing mindset. He shares his journey along with practical tips and invaluable advice on how to break free from this limiting belief and take control of your future.

Topics Covered:

  • How to defeat the all-or-nothing mentality to continually enhance your personal growth
  • Tackling mental obstacles and establishing attainable objectives for racing success
  • Running techniques to help you get faster as a runner 
  • The life-changing influence of running – mentally and physically

Today’s Guest

Alexander Golik

AJ is a hybrid/ocr athlete (obstacle course race) from Long Island, New York. Currently, a full-time student at Johnson & Wales University pursuing a Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and Sales Manager at Under Armour. AJ grew up involved in and playing team sports which continued through college. He played Division III lacrosse at Purchase College (2x Captain) and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. AJ was introduced into racing through a Deka Strong in June 2022 and fell in love with the sport. Since, he has competed in Spartan, Deka, and Hyrox. AJ has run both a marathon & half marathon as well. Highlights have been becoming a 2x Deka World Champion in the 18-24 age group (Strong & Mile) and winning the Hyrox North American Championship in the U24 division. 

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Listen to Inspire to Run Podcast:

Richard Conner 0:00

Hey everyone I know I’ll probably say this in every episode, but you’re really going to enjoy this conversation. Today we’re going to talk to a DEKA and HYROX champion, and we’re going to talk about why you should get into running for new runners. How to improve your performance for experienced runners, and how not to let unexpected race results define you as a runner and steal your joy. Hope you enjoy.

Intro/Outro 0:25

Welcome to Inspire to run podcast. Here you will find inspiration. Whether you’re looking to take control of your health and fitness or you’re a seasoned runner, looking for community and some extra motivation. You will hear inspiring stories from amazing runners, along with helpful tips from fitness experts now here’s your host Richard Conner.

Richard Conner 0:49

Hi, everyone, welcome to inspire to run Podcast. Today we have Alexander Golduck. Here, AJ is a hybrid OCR athlete from Long Island full time student and sales manager, AJ was introduced into racing through a DEKA strong in June of 2022 and fell in love with the sport. Since then he’s competed in Spartan Races, DEKA and HYROX. As well as a marathon and half marathon. AJ has become a two time DEKA world champion in the 18 to 24 age group for the strong in Mile and won the HYROX North American Championship in the under 24 division. Welcome to the show. AJ,

Alexander Golik 1:27 thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Richard Conner 1:31

Well, it’s an honor to be in the presence of a champion world champion. So So congrats on everything that you’ve done, I’m so excited to share your story with our listeners, because you’re a relatively new runner will say are new to the kind of this world of racing, and you’ve had so much success. So love for the opportunity to share your story with with our community here. So welcome. And, you know, let’s just kind of get started and learn just a little bit about you and your background.

Alexander Golik 2:00

Yeah, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Yeah, I’m definitely very new into the sport. But my background competing and running has been for years on end, I guess I started playing Team sports growing up, continued playing lacrosse through college, I played Division Three, lacrosse at purchase college. And then that was kind of what spiraled my love for fitness as a whole, which also stemmed to running. So one of my teammates over the COVID year through this five mile challenge into our team group chat and was like, Hey, this is what I’m going to be doing this month, if anybody wants to jump in and do it stay in shape, things of that nature. So essentially, it was like five mile time trial, followed by a bunch of workouts for the first half of the month, then you retested your five miles did your workouts again and tested again, at the end of the month, the workouts consisted Long, short sprint workouts aerobic work, it was just like a structured running program for a month, I wound up shaving, I want to say like seven or eight minutes off of my five mile time. And after that kind of just fell in love with running. So my primary training was CrossFit based. I have my CrossFit one. And that was where the majority of my training was. But as you know, and as the common conception is is like CrossFitters and running aren’t really like a mixable pair. But because I enjoyed running so much I incorporated fun runs into my training. They weren’t time based or anything really structured, I would just throw on a pair of shoes go outside and run during the nice weather. Get get the sunlight in and just enjoy it. So started doing that more and more. And then spontaneously, like most people who compete in running events are OCR hybrid, it’s like you kind of get introduced into something and you dive headfirst. So my love for running had me sign up for a marathon instead of a 5k or 10k or even a half. I dove right into the fire. So I signed up to run a marathon in August of 2022. And during the training for that I saw a post on Instagram. I don’t exactly remember who it was from but it was promoting a the DEKA strong that was being held at obstacle athletics in Deer Park, which is pretty local to me. It’s like for 3540 minutes. I sent it to one of my buddies Sam and was like, this kind of looks like CrossFit. Like what do you think? Like let’s do it. And his first question. I laugh all the time about it. His first question was what is a ram and for those who don’t No, the DEKA events end with 20 Ram burpees. And the RAM is like a weighted log. It looks like a foam roller, but it’s weighted. So the RAM burpees are essentially like Devil’s presses with the RAM. So his first question was, what is the RAM and I was like, Your guess is as good as mine. So we kind of just ran with it. We were like, we’ll find out when we get there. And that was exactly what we did. So we drove over. I competed in the Decker strong. I ran a 1440 I believe, which now that I am more familiar with it was a pretty solid first run overall. And then of course, like, spontaneously jumping into the marathon that spiraled but what is deco what is what other events do they have? Where are they what can I do? So still training, CrossFit not doing anything specifically for racing or hybrid racing. I went over to underdog underdog fitness in Connecticut, and ran the DEKA mile, which is there another variation of the deck events that incorporates running. So it’s the same 10 DEKA zones with 160 meters of running between to total a mile drive to Connecticut. This is at the time this is a random gym. I do not know anybody else going I’m going with my mom, who is my number one supporter, she comes everywhere with me. So I’m driving to this gym randomly to do this deck event because of how much I enjoyed the DEKA strong. I run the DEKA mile at underdog in a heatwave. It was no joke. And Kevin probably has so many stories from all the people who did it that day. But it was 95 degrees, blistering sun, it was gross. I run this event, nearly roll over and die afterwards in the zone 11 as what they call it. And it was Gil Gil Ford comes up to me and was like, or comes up to me and my mom was like your time was good enough to qualify. And again, this is only my second DEKA event I don’t know, I still don’t know much about it. We’re like qualify for what, for where. And then she explained what like the DEKA World Championship was and the three different events gave me a ton of insight. And then from there, the spiral just kept going tumbleweed, over and over and over again. So I made the connections up there with Kevin and Jess, and Jill and Matt and Cassandra and everybody up there was so incredible that first day that I went as a complete stranger, just some random kid that showed up at the gym. And from there, it’s just blossomed into what I’m doing now. And though I guess the life that I’m living now competing in DEKA, Spartan and Hyrox, now I work with a coach one on one for like hybrid racing specifically. And it’s done my training, and life overall has done like a huge one at since jumping into that one Decker strong in June. And if you told me that, doing this event for fun, randomly not knowing what it was going to be would turn into sitting here now. And having the success that I’ve had so early, but also loving something that I didn’t know about nine months ago, it was I would tell you that you were probably crazy. So that’s how I got introduced to it. And I mean, you know it too, and a lot of your other guests like John, when you had him on is like you jump into the fire and you’re like, why not? Let’s try it. Let’s just do it. So and that’s what it’s been it’s been a spiral. I did my first high rocks in at the New York City event in October, I did my first Spartan for the year at Citizens Bank Park in Philly. That was my first age group race that was in September. So I just started jumping in and competing and having fun doing it. And it’s been really, really, really enjoyable. And I couldn’t be happier or more thankful for the opportunity to do it. But also the people that have supported me and surrounded me while doing it.

Richard Conner 9:39

For sure for sure. Well, congratulations on all of your success. I mean, I was there on that very hot day. So just incredible, incredible job in your first decade strong and, you know, just incredible running career that you’ve had, you know, a shorter period of time and I’d love to roll the clock back a little bit because you started with it. You’re doing team sports, you know, in school, and then that kind of morphed into running kind of a little bit later on. And it’s interesting because a number of the folks that I talked to you running is sort of a bad word, right? If you’re doing team sports, running is a little bit of a punishment, right? They want to do their their core workouts are core work for those sports. So I’d love to understand a little bit about your mindset about it. You said I love running at that time. Why is that? Like, why? What made you really love and enjoy running even during that time when you’re doing other team sports.

Alexander Golik 10:33

So I went through the same I think every team sport athlete or athlete that’s not centered around running, does think that it’s a bad word. But the majority of us do it because we know the benefits of it as far as how they translate to your overall fitness or how they translate to your specific sport. Because most team sports involve a significant amount of running, it’s a given. And I also was one of the haters. I was one of the people who we have to run the get on the line was the most miserable thing a coach could say. And I did not do any extracurricular running outside of being your practice. Or if I was told I had to the shift came, I would say my freshman year of college was when the shift from running because I had to turn to running because I wanted to, for my college lacrosse team, we had to do a What the what my coach called the loop test, which was a time trial around the exterior driving loop of my campus, it was just shy of a 5k, maybe like 2.8 miles. And he obviously like put a time cap on it and was like, this is your first test of fitness when you get to campus before we start fall ball, like better be in shape. So the anticipation of that, of course, like I started running, just to be ready going in as a freshman. I mean, any of the other team sport athletes that continued to college know like the nerves that going in as a freshman brings whether you’re playing at the Division Three level, or even club Division Two, whatever the case is, like, you know, that feeling of like unfamiliarity, and also like anxiousness like you want to do well, you don’t want to be that guy, or that girl that isn’t in shape when you come in. So I started running pretty much to prepare for fall ball and prepare to start my college season. And that was when the love for it came. And the thought process shifted away from it being a chore to it being an outlet. So a lot of your guests have spoken on it. And it’s also known, and I think and feel very similar that running is more than a physical outlet. For me. It’s a mental outlet, I would say equal if not greater than the physical benefits of it. I think that there’s no better feeling than putting on a pair of shoes and going outside on like a sunny day and running. Even if it’s just a mile, like the feeling of just being out and running and being free. And like I when I talk about it, I say that I’m mindless. I don’t think about anything substantial. So it takes me away from school. It takes me away from work. It takes me away from drama friends, family mishaps, things like that. The second I go outside and run or put on a pair of headphones and run I’m mindless. Obviously I’m thinking, but it’s not about anything that bears weight. A lot of times I use it to like reflect on good and bad things. I’ll listen to music. I listen to a good podcast, like inspired to run. And it’s a moment of just clarity and like bliss. So the detachment it gives you to help physically and mentally. It’s like a double edged sword that in my opinion, like only really provides good everything you do in athletics or to be active weightlifting, team sports, anything along those lines is hard. Nothing about it is easy. And same thing with running runnings not easy. And a lot of people don’t like it because they don’t see the other side of it. They think like if I’m a team sport athlete, why would I run extra? Because I’m not going to go run a marathon or go compete and hybrid or compete in Spartan. So they don’t they feel that it’s not necessarily beneficial for them because they’re not looking to compete in something that involves timed based running. But the mental and and emotional benefits I have gotten from running and just detaching and going out for a run have been better and more beneficial for me than the physical ones. I mean, now I run partially because I have to with what I’m competing in. But also, when I go outside and run, I don’t ever think like, oh, this is a chore. I mean, there are some workouts that I’m like, wow, I wish this was over. But everybody also gets those feelings. But I don’t go outside and think like, I would rather do anything else but run today,

Richard Conner 15:34

for sure. And for me, those workouts are the speed workouts. Yeah, wish, wish they were over. But you know, I’m seeing the benefits of them. Right. So I’m training by heart rate, versus pace and time, and I’m starting to see some benefits of, you know, some of the other workouts I’m doing been incorporating those speed workouts, but definitely, as soon as I step on the treadmill, or get out there, and I have to do threshold intervals or something like that. I’m like, I can’t wait for 45 minutes from now when I’m done with this, but I totally get it. So you know, so I love the story that you’re sharing and kind of how you’re thinking about running. And I think you’re right, I think, you know, for someone who hasn’t gotten to that point, it’s hard to imagine what it feels like right to be able to get out in the road and just kind of unplug and, and just be with your thoughts. And that’s I think that’s really special that someone can do that. But you have to take that first step, you have to do that couch to 5k Well, or in your case, to five mile, right and get out there and kind of pushed past that point where you’re like, from, I don’t want to do this to wow, this is really great and really benefiting me. So. So you know, thank you for sharing that. And I’d love to talk a little bit about the movement that you’re doing. Because you’re competing in these races, you have your training programs that you’re working on, what are you doing that’s helping you get faster, or feel better on your runs or perform better in your races? What are the types of things that you’re doing?

Alexander Golik 16:59

My training obviously incorporates a lot of the hybrid racing movements, both DECA and hierarchs, have some overlap, but also have their own individual movements, like there’s no wall balls in DECA. So training those is important across the board for like muscular endurance and capacity in those regards. And when you’re working under fatigue or compromised. But the running variable of it is similar to I would say it’s similar to any traditional running plan that you could find like online or find through a coach or through a resource. So my running consists of weekly I’m running in between 40 and 50 kilometers. And it’s split between three to four days. One day is the speed intervals that are a little bit more painful. One day is aerobic, just distance like you said working under a heart rate now worried about PACE now worried about time, like specifically being in my zone three heart rate, then I’ll have a heavier volume of running incorporated with those high rocks and DECA movements to work on that aspect of compromise running. And then I usually end my week on Saturday with a longer run, which sometimes is threshold intervals. Sometimes it’s time based intervals. And other times like last weekend, it was 17k aerobic, so just go out and run for an hour, hour and a half. So it’s a healthy balance of speed aerobic and compromised running. For those who are a little bit more unfamiliar, like compromise running refers to running when you’re under fatigue. So whether that be coming off of one of the deck or High Rock specific zones or in Spartan coming off of an obstacle when your heart rates high, you are under like muscular fatigue and being able to get back into like a strong and consistent running cadence. So it’s a good balance between those three areas. And it’s structured very similar to pretty much any running program. It’s at the end of the day, it boils down to volume, a lot of the time intelligently programmed volume given like your level of running, but the more miles you run and the longer you run for the more fluid you become at running just like anything else. It’s like, for lack of better words like practice makes perfect. Like the couch to five miles or couch to 5k like the first two weeks are probably going to suck and they’re probably going to be really hard You’re going to be sore, and you’re not going to be the happiest. But with time, like anything else time, dedication effort, you’re going to improve. So that’s what I try to think about when I’m doing these workouts now, and doing my training now, because when I am working for a specific time are working under a specific heart rate, sometimes my mind wants to do more or do less. As far as like, if I’m supposed to be doing a zone three run, and I look at my watch, and I’m not running fast. I’m like, Oh, my God, I gotta run faster. But that’s not the goal of the training. So it’s just keeping a clear state of mind and knowing that the each training session, and each run will stack on top of each other and build the bricks and lay the foundation to become a better runner.

Richard Conner 20:52

I love that I love the really great tips there for listeners, whether you’re just getting started, and you’re doing that couch to 5k. And you’re right, you know that when you’re getting started with it, it’s it’s going to be hard, and it’s not going to be that pleasant. But you know, over time, you’ll start to get better, and you’ll start to enjoy, right, if you get better at something, you’ll you’ll start to enjoy it. So. But if you’re in a different place in your journey, and you’re looking to compete, like you’re doing in these races, then your training program looks a lot different, right? You’re not only you’re not only getting out there and running, you’re doing you’re following a specific plan, whether it’s hard some days, whether it’s not so hard other days, or whether it’s mixed in with other activities. And you know, the compromise running for someone who, you know, may not be able to visualize what that means is imagine doing 20 burpees, with a 40 pound weight and then going out and running, you know, 100 or 200 meters, right or jumping on the treadmill for a few minutes and having really good form and good breathing. And that’s really hard to do. But that’s, you know, if you’re in these hybrid kind of races, that’s really what you know what you’re training for.

Alexander Golik 21:54

Yeah, absolutely. That’s from what you hear and what you see in the hybrid spaces. That’s the biggest area that will improve your overall race time, you can improve your zones and your station work. But in the grand scheme of it, especially in high rocks are in the DEKA fit when the running volume, winds up totaling for the DEKA fit. It’s a 5k. For a high rocks, it’s an 8k. So if you are unable to run, or if you’re compromised running isn’t efficient, where you can put up a good 5k time or good 8k time under that fatigue, your overall race time is going to suffer from it as well. And that was my biggest area of improvement from my first high rocks in New York City to the North American Championship in Chicago, my overall race PR was by just shy of five minutes. But my run my total runtime PR was four minutes and 40 seconds faster from New York to Chicago. That also boils down to like course, variability with hierarchies. And that’s like a whole nother story. But in the at surface level, my overall runtime for the 8k between New York and Chicago was four minutes different four minutes and 40 seconds faster. So being more efficient as a compromised runner, being a more efficient runner, and then training it, practicing it and then becoming a more efficient compromised runner overall improved my High Rocks time, and as allowed me to continue to grow and improve in the hybrid space. And that’s still what I’m working on right now. Like my coach has a huge point of emphasis on my running because although it’s improved, it still needs improvement. And that’s with anything also is I believe, and I know that a lot of people who compete also believe that like, there is no end to it, you can always look to get better in some regard some aspect, whether it be super specific or whether it be long term. And one of the goals that I write down before every one of my races is to be proud of my effort, and to be able to use the race results as an opportunity to learn. So whether that be a race that I won or race that I lost or a race that I came in third, whatever the result was, I want to be proud of the effort that I put out and I also want to be able to look back at the race and pick pieces that were good, like highlights and what I call low lights. So things that I liked that I did or that were successful or that I felt that I improved on, and then things that I know could use like further improvement, maybe that is to like to reach out to my coach and be like, hey, like I saw that my split on the sled pole was not great. Like, maybe we should work on more sled pull, or something as simple as like transitioning between zones or into runs. So there’s always ways to improve and things to improve on. And that’s kind of how I look at it is like, it’s never, it’s a never ending cycle. So, but you do have to start at the beginning. So with time and with effort, the improvement will come. And then the love for it will help you continue to improve.

Richard Conner 25:41

I love that. I love that. And I love what you said about telling yourself you want to be you want this to be a race that you can be proud of. Right. And it’s, it’s really great to think of it that way. Because if you’re just focused on your time, or just focus on your place, and for whatever reason, you don’t get that depends on the day depends on the core is depends on, you know, the other racers, the other competitors. So you may not always get that. But if you can really run the race the way you want to run it and be proud of that, that you executed at the best as you can. That’s really at the end of the day. That’s all you can ask for, especially if you put in the training, like if you put in the work leading up to it that that’s really all that you can ask for. So I love how you how you phrase that? You know, I’m curious through your journey, what would you say would have been? Or was one of your biggest challenges? And how did you overcome it?

Alexander Golik 26:33

Well, one of my biggest challenges was actually that aspect of the mindset. I did two Spartan Races in the open category in 2021. And then after that did not race Spartans, all the way until September of 2022. I went back to Citizens Bank Park, because I ran that one in open and 2021, I went back to Citizens Bank Park to run the stadium race, and I won my age group. And it was wonderful, had a great time, enjoyed the race, enjoyed the travel, I went with my mom, it was great. The next race after that was the Spartan super at Vernon, New Jersey. And I also want my age group. And then I had high rocks in New York, and I won my age group. And in the back of my mind, there was a little bit of, well, if I don’t win, then it’s not good. Because I had a little bit of a string of success. And I was also watching like my deck at times get faster. And I was seeing myself at the top of like the global leaderboard for qualification for my age group. And I was seeing all these wins, and they were piling. And again, like I’m grateful and thankful. And I’m happy that I have won and have done well. But it created a little bit of unrealistic expectation in the back of my mind. And it was just me. Nobody else friends and family, people who love and support me, nobody else instilled the will if you don’t win, then it’s not good. It was me it was myself expectations, creating like, a fight a little bit of a fight in my mind of if I don’t go and race and if I don’t win, then it’s not going to be good. And to be honest with you that took away from my marathon experience because all these races happened and I was doing so well. And I went into the marathon. And it was my first marathon ever. And my goal, the goal I set for myself with nobody else’s expectations involved as I wanted to run a sub 345 marathon. I ran a 351 and was pissed, like nearly miserable about it because of the expectation that I created for myself, as well as these thoughts of not being good enough or letting people down and not being proud of what I just did. And it took away from my marathon experience to a certain extent. When there are people who go and run marathons, whether it be for time or not for time or just for the experience and they walk away and they are elated and so happy and so proud of themselves that they just ran 26.2 miles I crossed the finish line and was angry and it was nobody else’s doing but mine. So that was my biggest challenge I think was overcoming that mindset that like all or nothing mindset that I had and breaking it down further which was how I got into writing down my goals. So before each race I write down my goals, and I usually break them up into two categories, I do performance goals, and I do personal goals. performance goals are usually time based or have to do with the specific event. So like, for example, when I went to Chicago to compete in High Rocks, I wanted to do the wall balls unbroken. So I wanted to do the 100 wall balls without stopping. So that was one of my performance goals, specific, measurable and related to the race, then my personal goals are always at the top is always to be proud of my effort, and be able to use the race results as something to learn from, I also tend to put like, enjoy visiting whatever city it is, because a lot of this is also new, I haven’t really traveled much. So going to these places to compete is also traveling to a new city. So I break my goals down into performance and personal to keep my mind clear and focused as far as what I’m set out to do and what I want to do. But also understanding that the outcome doesn’t have to be the defining factor of the weekend of the experience of the race, because it there’s so many different factors and so many things that you can miss out on, if you’re so fixated on a specific outcome. And like you said, if it doesn’t work out, where are you going to be mentally, to use me as the example after my marathon? I was not happy about it. And it reflected on to like my mom, my sister, who came to support me running my first marathon rather than being like, wow, I just ran for 26.2 miles, my mind was saying, Wow, I didn’t meet my time goal. And I was mad. So, so being able to overcome that mindset, that I created for myself, to be a bit of dissect it and break it down, so that I have more mental clarity, but also can enjoy competing and racing and visiting the new places and spending time with my friends and family and being with my mom. So overcoming that mental battle was probably my biggest struggle since starting to compete.

Richard Conner 32:35

Yeah, that’s incredible. And I appreciate you sharing that and being so transparent about that. Because, you know, I could see that I mean, I’m, I’m not a I’m not on the podium like you are. But I could totally see that if you’re winning race after race after race, then that sets that expectation for the future races. And if you don’t meet that expectation, then it’s like, well, if I didn’t win, that means I lost. And that may not be the case, right? You didn’t win, but maybe you learned or maybe you had a new experience. Like you said it was your first marathon, you’re probably in a new city. So I really appreciate you being transparent and sharing next. I think it’s important for our listeners, you’re more than just a number, whether it’s the time for your race, whether it’s a number on the scale, like you’re, you’re more than that. So sure, these are okay goals to have, and things to work towards. But that’s not all what this is about, right? It’s, it’s about being it’s about enjoying these experiences. It’s about being healthy, and you know, getting into the fitness life. And there’s just so it’s about being with people you love and people you know, is the people support you surround you. So I really appreciate you sharing your story here. And I’m really enjoying this conversation. AJ,

Alexander Golik 33:47

me too. Yeah. So one more quick note about what you said was to not be over fixated on the number and like, don’t get me wrong. In some of my goals. Like there are very specific numbers that I set out whether it be time placement things along those lines, but when I set them, I set them with real with real, genuine intention. Not just if I don’t go and win, then I lost that all or nothing mindset, or the end all be all. So I do write down these goals. And I set these goals and like you said, they’re great to set because they push you and provide you with fuel and ambition to try to achieve something. So whether it be a number on the scale or a time to finish a race, but it’s deeper than just that number. So if that number isn’t what you see, it can’t completely derail you mentally because it’s a journey. And that’s the biggest the biggest point of emphasis that I have and that I’ve learned as well as that it’s a journey like I’ve I’ve only been racing and competing Since June of 2022, so that’s maybe 10 months, 11 months now. And this whole 11 months has been a constantly evolving journey with highs and lows and wins and losses and good and bad, and it’s not going to be linear to the moon, it’s going to be rocky, there’s going to be some days that are better than others, and some that are just not so fun. But overall, the journey of it. Like you said, getting into fitness or getting into health and wellness is more important than the numbers that you’re seeing throughout the journey, you have to think, a little bit more big picture. And that’s also something I tried to do when I’m having the bad days or a low point or didn’t do as well as I hoped I would do is like, on the bigger scale, what did this provide me. So you set these goals and set the bar for yourself. And whether it be weight or time or anything, like a number that you want to lift, set them because they’re important. But if you don’t achieve them in the same timeframe that you want to or if you don’t achieve it on your race day. That’s not the end of the journey. There will always be more opportunities if you let yourself continue to grow, and continue to compete and keep putting yourself back out there. It’s like the whole saying, like get knocked down seven times get up eight times. So it’s the overall journey is more important than the specific number. And you just got to keep going and keep working for it.

Richard Conner 36:45

For sure, for sure. Well, words of wisdom. And I appreciate you sharing that with our listeners. And you know, kind of as we wind down here, AJ, one of the questions I like to ask is, what is the one thing you would say, to inspire our listeners to run?

Alexander Golik 37:01

It sounds really cliche, but just try it. It’s, that’s the biggest thing that has allowed me to explore and get into all these different avenues is being willing to try a lot of the things running included, seem intimidating. If you’re unfamiliar with them, it’s because you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone. So if it’s something you don’t know what it’s about, you don’t know how to do it, you’d something you’ve never done, it’s going to be scary, and it’s not going to feel great. And there will be a lot of wavering back and forth of should I do it should I not do it, but you’ll never know unless you try. So if you’re on the border, or thinking about starting to run, whether it be for to compete later down the line or whether it just be as an outlet for physical and mental health and well being. You’re not going to know if you’ll enjoy it unless you try it. And unfortunately, it won’t be like a one time one and done thing. But set a week, set two weeks and develop a little bit of a plan and go out and try.

Richard Conner 38:16

Alright, awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. And I love this conversation. Appreciate everything that you share it around. I love your mindset. Congratulations on all of your success. How can our listeners find you and follow your journey online.

Alexander Golik 38:30

So I am fairly active on Instagram. It’s at Alexander Gullick with two K’s. So my last name, just add a second que to it. And besides that social media, I’m not really active on other platforms. So Instagram would definitely be the best. The best way to keep up with me.

Richard Conner 38:50

All right, sounds good. Well, we’ll have to run fast to keep up with you. But I’ll put that information in the show notes. So make it easy for our listeners to find a follow you. So thank you again, AJ for coming on the show and good luck with your you know your running journey.

Alexander Golik 39:03

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Intro/Outro 39:07

That’s it for this episode of inspired to run podcast. We hope you are inspired to take control of your health and fitness and take it to the next level. Be sure to click the subscribe button to join our community. And also please rate and review. Thanks for listening

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