What two cents do I have to add about this topic? That’s a hard one because I am usually pretty spontaneous when it comes to these things. In any sport I’ve been a part of sign ups for races or competitions have, more often than not, been on a whim. I’d say that 98% of competitions I have done are because someone has asked me to do one with them or challenged me to it. (Both of which I find fun reasons.)
Some important things I have learned are:
– Believe in yourself
– Follow your training plan as much as you can
– Ask questions if you have them
– Have fun
When I first trained for a running event I followed a plan by Sport Med B.C. led by one of my teachers who just said “I’m getting a group of us together to run a 10k, do you want to join?” “Sure!” That was that.
After that race, I have mainly implemented training plans that I’ve found via the web or books which looked do-able to me in terms of progression. Sometimes I would switch it up a little if things weren’t quite working out. A lot of times I run my “own” race.
All my legit race sign ups for running have been a quick-fire decision.
Even in terms of marathon training. I ran the Sun Run last April and someone at the finish line handed me a Team In Training pamphlet. It hit a nerve with me…I went to one of the info sessions and signed up. No one asked me to run with them or challenged me to do it. It was more for personal reasons after having a previously tough year. So I just went for it head first, igniting the challenge unto myself. It turned out to be much more than I could have imagined and I learned a copious amount of knowledge about myself, others, and running itself.
When I attempt to think about my next marathon I get hives (figuratively.) It’s funny because I am such a logical, linear thinker for the most part. I like things in order, I like schedules, I like making and crossing off things on my to do lists, I like looking at statistics, I like to make pro/con lists. You get the idea.
Being spontaneous in terms of race sign up may at first seem weird. However, the thought process in my head goes like this, “What training plan will I pick? How many people are in the race? How much will a flight/hotel/food cost? What is the weather typically like? Traffic? What if I get sick? Will I be able to get time off? Etc…” It technically paralyzes me in fear of all the logistics. So if I randomly sign up for something then I DON’T think about these things until after because I can’t risk a DNF. Bizarre, I know.
I know it’s beneficial to at least pencil out goals (which I DO have…I just don’t like to share them.) I would LOVE to be able to hire a coach but for now, my own training plans are working fine. I have started to log my runs (it IS helping, fyi.) I’m working on it.
So, I guess my long-winded point is do what gets you to run. There is a different “perfect formula” for each person. If you’re new to running and want to test the waters then ask questions, research, and pick something that you feel is slightly out of reach but attainable none-the-less. If you are a seasoned runner, you probably just think I’m crazy now. 😛 I know it’s such a shocker for you to find out I’m not perfect.
(Yes, that last sentence was sarcasm, juuuust in case you were thinking I’m narcissistic for a second there.)