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A bad run, but a great training session

by Money Puzzle   ·  August 14, 2021   ·  

A bad run, but a great training session

by Money Puzzle   ·  August 14, 2021   ·  

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU from Pexels

This particular morning run, smack in the middle of last week, despite being slower pepped me up. I wasn’t feeling particularly energetic, before starting out, but thankfully it was overcast, giving us some hope for rain on the way, which could offer relief from the humid heat. We set out as usual around 7:30 am, after waking the boys for school.

It wasn’t the start I hoped for as my legs felt heavy and my calves ached. By the time we reached the promenade, there was a strong breeze pushing against us. Running against the wind is like someone holding a band across your waist and pulling from the back while you push forward; it’s hard. Anyway, the breeze was cool and we laboured ahead. As expected, soon it started raining, which helped me cool off, but thanks to the wind the raindrops were right in our faces, causing unnecessary distraction. Despite this strong wind and intermittent rain, not to mention the morning peak hour traffic, gravel-filled roads and pedestrians on the way, we managed to complete the 8 km run we set out for. It doesn’t sound pretty and I was sweating and tired, but for some reason, I was feeling great at the end of it; the run had been slower but stronger.

I’m not sure why the pace was slower, maybe the wind or the heavy legs or just lack of rest. At the end of it, even though it was not a great run, it was a great training session to build both strength and stamina. I definitely felt strong and energized by the time we finished.

I was fully awake by the time we stopped and the mind felt fresh. What a run like this does, is sets you up for the good days. If you can keep up your strength and stamina through the bad days, you know you will run faster and stronger on the good days. Running in the monsoon along Mumbai’s coastline was always going to be tough, but getting these tough runs in is key to being in form for the cooler and easy weather days.

You may have guessed what’s coming up. I won’t deny my penchant for making this obvious connection between long-distance running and long-term investing; the linkages keep bouncing around in my head as I run through the cacophony of vehicular traffic in the mornings.

I couldn’t resist another article, on how a bad day of running is no different from what you may consider a bad investing day; rather than making you feel disappointed, it helps you become better prepared and disciplined for the future.

Being prepared is the key

Investing outcomes just like running, thrive on being prepared. When you want your money to grow and create long term wealth, you have to take some risks and invest in market-linked securities like equity stocks and equity mutual funds. However, that also means facing volatility, the bad days come along with the good ones. For anyone who is already doing this, the price or value of your investment can fluctuate, sometimes wildly, on a daily basis.

A lot of this daily volatility is driven by external exigencies, which you have little control over; the strong winds that stop you from moving forward with ease.

On any given day, it’s hard to be a hundred percent certain which way the market will trend and, on some days, you know that it’s not going to trend in your favour.

On days like these, you have to remember that perseverance to stay invested, being regular and being able to weather the storm is what’s going to matter most.

If you are prepared to face an interim bad day, you have a higher chance of being disciplined enough throughout your investing journey to benefit from compounding and long-term returns.

It’s a rare morning when I don’t wake up wanting to go right back to bed, but without thinking much, I go through the motions, get ready for a run and step out nonetheless, no matter what the day is like outdoors. Showing up matters and once you show up, it’s unlikely you’ll turn around and go back.

On the bad days you have to witness the price falls, but don’t react and simply stay put; what you’re doing subconsciously is training your behaviour to remain invested through the volatility and digging a deeper foundation for the discipline to be regular with your investment habits.

Marry discipline across time horizons

It’s not just long-term investments that matter. You have to be prepared to deal with what you need today as well. This means, liquidity or the ability to access your money anytime and safety or protecting capital, should also find space in your portfolio. If we only ran the long runs, it would totally wear us down. Practically keeping up with the muscle strength would be hard and speed too could eventually suffer.

Long distancing running is often compared with long term investing outcomes. To be honest, doing your short sprints and the short, slow runs makes a huge impact on the ability to keep up the stamina and strength for a strong long run too.

Not all our money goals are about what will take place 8-10 years later.  There is a need to also consider your money health in the present; do you have enough liquidity to tide over emergencies, are you saving enough every month, are your short-term goals catered to by low-risk investments and so on.

Be disciplined about both your short-term and long-term money habits.

In a bid to cater to what may or may not happen 10 years later, don’t forget that your money habits are important for your present life too.

The short sprints, leg workouts and core training do help in the long-distance running, but it also helps you in being fit and healthy today. Bad running days will never take away from the fact that your daily workout leads to a healthy lifestyle today and tomorrow. A healthy lifestyle in turn drastically reduces meetings with doctors, spends on medicines and going to hospitals; saves you time and money and keeps you looking good.

Make sure you are investing regularly, keeping in mind your needs today and what you can visualize you may need in future.

If your focus on the future is going to harm your present you may want to balance out the discipline and not make your future steal all of today’s pleasures.

As they say, rest days are critical to have the energy to show up again for a nice long run.

End Note:

The feeling of positivity and triumph that overtakes after a long run can scientifically be attributed to what’s called an endorphin rush. This rush, however, has the ability to transform all your days into good days, but you can’t possibly do a long run every day without any rest and training.

In investing too, you have to focus on achieving your long-term goals but also balancing what you need your money to do today. A positive investing experience can turn your doubts into confident comfort about your life’s future outcomes, provided you take into account both your short- and long-term goals and also focus on your present-day lifestyle.

Did I mention, that we have been running more or less the same route for half a decade now? Yeah, it’s boring, sometimes. In all honesty, when I step out for these morning runs, I am not looking for adventure, I don’t want to discover the joys or the glitches of the road not taken. Instead, I seek the stability and peace that experience, knowledge and well-calculated outcomes of a known route offer.

Running adventures are reserved for the little time in a year, we spend on vacation outside our home city.

Think about that too, peace and stability in your long-term investment journey; wouldn’t that outdo the adventure of an exciting but unpredictable route?

Thanks for reading and do leave your comments about what else you would like to read on

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