Another Wednesday, and with it comes another Wednesday Word! This week’s work is complacent.

Deb Runs

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Complacent means being satisfied with yourself or your achievements, smug, and often unconcerned with improving. Usually, when people talk about being complacent, it’s with a negative connotation. But I don’t think it necessarily has to be so.

When I first started running, it was all about running further and getting faster. Every race was for a PR. And that worked pretty well initially, because I was new to running and saw a lot of improvement over a short period of time. But then it slowed down a bit, which is the norm for most people, I think. Then, beginning last year and continuing into this year, I had a bit of a shift. I started running races more for the experience than for the PR. Does this mean I’ve become complacent about my running and racing? Maybe. But for me, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Running a race for fun isn’t for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy. I like to have a couple of key races a year, where I am going for a best time. But for me, not every race has to be run for a PR. It’s okay for some of them to be run for the experience, where I get to have fun and enjoy the experience. Not that running a best time isn’t fun, because it definitely is. But if I’m aiming to run a PR every single time, I’m probably going to have more failures than successes. For me, that would suck the fun out of everything. It’s exciting to go for a PR, but life is stressful enough without making my exercise activities part of that stress.

That being said, I don’t think chasing PR’s is the only determinant of whether or not you’ve become complacent. There are lots of other adventures you pursue within your sport. And if it makes you happy to stick with the “same old, same old” then I say ignore the naysayers and let your freak flag fly.

What does complacency mean to you?
Do you feel that the word ‘complacent’ often has a negative connotation?

23 thoughts on “Complacency?”

  1. Being complacent doesn’t have to be a negative. It can also mean being content. If you are in your happy place, so be it.


  2. I do have races that are goal races, others that are for just getting out there and pushing myself. I know I won’t get a PR, but I do get satisfaction in knowing I trained well and pushed hard, PR or not.

    Which is a good thing, since I don’t PR real often!

  3. I have enjoyed running in races a lot more when I don’t need to set a PR. I did a big city marathon recently. At first, I was training in hopes of setting a PR, but I found that approach became a grind. I changed my approach and decided to run for the enjoyment of it. Come race day, I didn’t set a record, but found myself soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying the experience.

  4. I’m running now for the enjoyment. I couldn’t run for two years due to injury and I’m enjoying being back out there. Even if I’m not aiming for a PR, I’m still getting healthy benefits from running.

  5. I do typically think of complacency in a negative way, and I don’t necessarily think that’s what you’re doing with your running. Running races for the experience is just a different type of running, versus getting those PR’s. I mean, we’re not professional athletes, so it should be about the experience and the actual run, right?

  6. It is HARD to shift away from wanting a PR every time you get out there, but if you want to be in it for the long run (no pun intended), I think you’re exactly right in choosing the races that you want to run for fun. That’s not complacency, that’s just mixing it up, I think. And a good idea!

  7. Complacent does sound negative. I think every race has a purpose. it doesn’t have to be a PR. If you have goal even if it’s just to have fun, you’re not being complacent.

  8. I agree, I like to have a race where i really try for that goal time, but mostly I can just go and enjoy them 🙂
    Complacency for me is just because I am tired lol I sleep as much as I can, but I still need more. I can’t control it, so I don’t worry about the undone stuff as much as I used to.

  9. I don’t really think of being complacent as a negative thing, but more of just a “meh” attitude. It’s good to hear you say, “Running a race for fun isn’t for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy,” since we’re going to be running buddies at Ragnar! 🙂

    1. I hope you’re in it for the enjoyment at Ragnar, too! That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try, but I also don’t plan to be full throttle on each run. We’ve got a lot of mileage to cover.

  10. You are right. It’s not always about PRs, but I usually want more of something: endurance, mileage, destinations, beautiful scenery, or just FUN — so I guess I can’t say I am ever complacent with running.

    1. Exactly! I am always wanting more of something, too, just not necessarily a PR each time. Based on that, I guess I am not ever complacent with my running either.

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