And if you're new to running I suggest you start to plot your first race real soon!
Saturday April 3rd. Barrowford. Lancashire. Podium 5km. The races of all races. World Record Broken (albeit unofficial), honest athletes putting in their all and some of my running friends racing hard to smash their PBs. My only regret not being able to get into one of the most highly anticipated races of the year so far (the dreaded too many users on the website annoyance!). The only positive was being able to watch the race/s online and see Beth Potter set a road 5km world record in a time of 14.41!!! #wowsers
Fast forward a couple of weeks and the easing of tight muscles, I feel eager and ready to race again. I have now entered the following races so far this year and cannot wait to get the racing season underway:
· Sale Sizzler 5km June 17th
· Wilmslow 10km July 11th
· Possible Podium 5km Aug/Sept
· Southport 10km Sept 5th
· Manchester Marathon Oct 10th - 'A' race
Personally I love to race! The training, the challenge, the unknown and the chance to step out of my comfort zone - it allows me to push myself to my limit.
At present these are the only races in the diary but I will also be using UK Parkrun alongside my training programme to ensure quality within my marathon build e.g. Warm-up 3 miles/race the Parkrun 5km/cool down 3 miles would result in a fairly productive 9 mile session mid training programme.
So....what's the pull of racing?
I never really got this when I first started running. I only wanted to run to get fit and stay fit - I never imagined how I would fall in love with this sport and the buzz that I get when I am due to race. It all starts with the plot. The plot of deciding what distance to race, when to race and the build up to the race. Once you have opened up the laptop, looked at the event website and enter those registration details #shit gets real!
The next stage involves the training build and progress required to see that you make an impression on the distance you are racing. For those new to running, just enjoying the training process and finishing the race with a smile on the face (well not quite a smile but you know what I mean) should be your main focus. The week build up to a race often leaves you with a mixture of nerves and adrenaline - this is good, it shows that it means something to you and you'll place these emotions into your training approach for the week.
The morning of the race is something that no one can prepare you for. No matter how many blogs, race reports or social media platforms you have read, only when you have entered your first race can you start to experience the BUZZ and the mental rehearsal that starts to playback on repeat.
You may ask "why is he waffling on about racing - I don't want to race" - well I want to try to motivate you to experience your first race sometime this year. I can assure you that whatever happens on race day, the thrill of the atmosphere, the challenge of the run and the push out of your comfort zone is something that the accomplishment will forever live with you regardless of the distance/time covered. Pushing yourself is a good tester of mental and physical resilience - ask yourself now "have I pushed myself as much as I could do in the sport that I love?"
To test yourself training can only take you so far. Competing in a race specific situation allows the body and mind to be able to go to a different kind of hurt and accomplishment like no other. My only wish is that after reading this month's blog you will find yourself a race, whether it be a 5km or half-marathon, plot the date of the race and work on the training process to become a better and more rounded runner. Good luck!
So folks...give it a go! Step out of your comfort zone, book a race, enjoy the training and you never know, you might actually get the BUZZ that racing brings :-)