When Neely Gracey started running during postpartum recovery, bringing her son along with her in his stroller was just a matter of practicality.
“I didn’t have childcare and so I would just pop him in the stroller and we would head out the door,” Gracey says on the latest episode of The Well+Good Podcast.
It’s totally logical and something any parent who wants to get back into running might do, right? On the other hand, not every parent is a professional marathon racer, five-time Olympic Trials qualifier, running coach, entrepreneur, author, mom to two young boys, and the head of running at Guava Family (a stroller company), like Gracey. So, yeah, not everyone might make the leap from recreational stroller running to breaking a Guinness World Record. But that’s just what Neely Gracey decided to do.
Experts In This Article
- Neely Gracey, professional long-distance runner, run coach, and stroller mile world record holder
“About a year ago, I saw that a male broke the stroller mile world record, and I was like, huh, I wonder what the women’s record is?” Gracey says. “So I looked it up and it was very within reach.”
How within reach? Just a casual 5:57-minute mile. But by following her own goal-setting tips, Gracey (and her helmeted, strapped-in son Rome) breezed past that record. She shaved 30 seconds off the time, setting a new women’s stroller mile world record at 5:24.
While not every runner might set out to break world records, the lessons on setting and achieving a goal that Gracey took from the process of getting back into running—and yes, eventually getting the Guinness—can speak to everyone. She focused on doing something she loved and something where she enjoyed the training process. She eased into the activity, starting with run walks, and celebrated milestones along the way. And lastly, she set a goal that was not yet in reach, but was within her grasp.
“I think it’s really helpful to assess your situation and look at where are you at in your life,” Gracey says. “What kind of time do you have to commit to this goal? How much time until you have to meet the goal? And I think it’s really important to make sure that you set yourself up to have a really fair shot at achieving that goal, or at least you’re in the position on that day to make it happen.”
You can learn more about Gracey, and hear more running and goal-setting tips, on the latest episode of The Well+Good Podcast. Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
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