Many people have spent their summers and will spend the early part of the fall getting ready for a big fall race — a distance race. There are all kinds of 15Ks, half-marathon, marathons, even ultra-marathons taking place this fall. We all know what it is to be in the middle of a training point and looking at that last BIG mileage week thinking how great it will be to start tapering instead of building week after week. It becomes this huge “top of the mountain” trip that we pour everything into, hoping everything will come together for the ultimate running experience.
A race like that is a lot like retirement for some people — the focus totally on GETTING to retirement and not thinking what in the world I’m going to do after I retire. Without plans in place, it can be a pretty aimless and frustrating experience, where because you don’t have a plan, you make some silly/sad mistakes — in running that would be like either getting back into running too quickly or dropping out of it for too long, it could mean loss of conditioning, weight gain, simply getting out of the routine and having difficulty getting back into it. It could even be experiencing that post-race depression because you simply make the race this “end all” challenge and once it’s accomplished, you have no goal, no plan in place to continue moving forward.
So, if you have a big fall race on your schedule, plan out the two months following that race… working out the proper rest, when to start easing back into running, and looking six or so weeks down the road for a fun, no-pressure race you think would just be fun to do with NO expectations of setting a PR or pushing yourself — just a nice steady pace run where you enjoy the camaraderie of fellow runners — and be sure to pick a race known for its excellent post-race food. NOT just so you can eat a lot, but if the post-race food is excellent, you know people are going to hang around after the race. What’s great about that is when you hang around others who are enthused about running that enthusiasm can help regenerate your enthusiasm — maybe even give you an opportunity to learn about a new race or challenge you might want to take on down the road. : )
Hope this post helps you have an awesome fall race that takes you on into something incredible this coming spring too!
Have an awesome run today!
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