After you've celebrated your accomplishment of running a big race one of two things happens. You're either ready to turn your attention elsewhere and focus on some other aspect of life or you're more motivated than ever and want to sign up for another race. Either way is great and totally understandable. If the thought of going through another training program overwhelms you or makes you cringe, then I suggest you regain the passion and run for fun. No pressure. No expectations. Go for 5 minute runs or 65 minutes. Whatever length feels right. Why did you choose running? Answer that and allow each run to reaffirm your choice. If you're not having fun- find another form of exercise that you enjoy! Summer is great for cycling, swimming, hiking, boot camp, surfing...
I don't want anyone who reads this blog to tell me they stopped running after Broad Street, got out of shape and, 6 months later, tell me they want to get back into shape. That's some BS right there! You're in shape NOW. Don't throw it away. Find SOMETHING you like that is vigorous and crank it! Get out there and enjoy life. Appreciate the amazing things you can do and experience. If you are lucky and blessed with good health, show your body some respect and move it.
For those of you who can't wait to experience another emotional high, I hear ya. Racing is awesome. It's the reason I train and I love seeing if I can run faster each time out. It's great seeing my friends and we always have fun “doing battle” on the race course. Plus, it's a chance to see if my training is working, so it appeals to the exercise scientist in me.
So where do you go from here? Well, everyone is different. First, hopefully you reviewed your performance in your race. Was there something you need to improve? How might you go about doing that?
I coach a lot of runners who have started running as adults. They start by quickly building up their mileage (or not) and signing up for long distance races like the half-marathon or longer.
*This type of client typically needs help with their running form because they were never actually taught how to run- it's just assumed.
*Perhaps they have a desk job that reinforces bad posture patterns and, in turn, creates poor movement patterns leaving them more susceptible to injury.
*Maybe they actually have some natural speed. If they've got a jam-packed life schedule, how are we going to build the necessary endurance to run a race like a half- or full -marathon?
*Maybe they rushed their preparation for Broad Street and barely survived the race. How will we prevent that in the future and can we emerge stronger than ever for a fall race?
*They run and run and run ...and that's it. You consider yourself an athlete, huh? Uh, well, almost. Unless you are strong, mobile, stable, agile, etc, you only have a portion of the athletic spectrum covered and are “leaving fitness on the table”. You could be so much more. How can we get there?
Who's going to win a race – a strong, athletic runner or a tight, weak runner? Hmm...
So there you have it. A few common goals and ideas to consider while you're rightfully basking in the glow of a great race. Where will you go from here? Can I help?