Training for a race ticks a lot of boxes for runners.
It’s not the be all and end all, but there’s something very focusing about having a time-bound deadline on the horizon.
You know that you’re going to be standing on that start line come what may, and the choices you make in the prior weeks & months will be added up.
And when you’re trying to live a positive, fit & healthy life it’s the day to day decisions that count.
So if having the focus of a race helps you make the kind of choices that are going to add up to a better version of yourself, then that’s a very powerful ‘side effect’.
I was working with a coaching client last week and he was telling me about how he felt in the few days after the London Marathon had finished.
He’d been totally dedicated & focused throughout his training, but for a good few days afterwards he said that he just fell right off the wagon!
There’s an element of ‘I deserve this, I’m going to eat what I want and skip a few workouts’, but the trouble is that it can be quite hard to get back on the wagon.
Because without that focus at the back of your mind there are fewer consequences to each of the decisions that you make.
Many runners tell me that they find their Mojo drop off a cliff after a race.
Regardless of the distance, if it’s something that you’ve been training for, when it’s over there’s a race-shaped hole left in your life.
You could of course fill this hole with another target race, but it’s also good to let your body recover and reconnect with the pleasure & freedom of running purely for the sake of it.
Get stuck into some Park Runs, or focus on getting stronger on the hills.
Throw yourself into body conditioning (VERY smart thing to do and most of us are crap at doing enough of this!) or join a Pilates or yoga class to augment your running.
But plug yourself into something that’s going to turn up the volume on the little voice in your head that questions all the decisions you make.
Nobody has to train.
It’s always a choice which means that it’s a good idea to know why you’re doing it.
Want to get faster?
I had a post in the iRunning Facebook group yesterday from a lady on the i10 Project. She just knocked 4 MINUTES off her best 5k time.
And she’s not even training for 5k!
“The i10 Project seems to be working!”, she said.
If you want a ‘project’ to get stuck into (and want to learn how to run faster at the same time), check out the i10 Project.
It’s a 10 week course in faster running and if you can drop a 10k race on the end of it I think you’ll be amazed at your results.