Whether it’s your first 10km, 15km, half, full or ultra marathon, the preparation, time and dedication involved is all just as impressive!
As someone who’s working towards a personal running goal or event, it can be easy to compare yourself to others doing 2 or 3 times what you are. This can be intimidating and make you feel like you’ve got a long way to go before crossing that finish line. However, having met many different people on different journeys, running at different levels, we’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of us feel the same way and experience the same things on any kind of running journey.
This week we’ve pinned down the 5 emotions and stages of race training that everyone at any level feels…here they are!
The first question that we all have to ask ourselves when preparing for a race is ‘why?’. Why are we doing it? Although the answers to these questions are different for everyone we can all relate to the excitement, passion and determination to achieve our goals for that particular reason ‘why’.
Having a strong motivation behind your goal will really help drive you in the most difficult of moments and help you push to be the best you possibly can. Whatever your reason for embarking on a new challenge is, stay focused, stay dedicated and remind yourself of that ‘why’ often.
So, you’ve done it! Once you’ve clicked ‘confirm’ online and you’ve got your confirmation email to say you’ve got your place you’re locked in and now have a specific date to head towards. But many of us fall into the trap of thinking the race is a long way off, and so you don’t need to start turning up the heat on your preparation too soon! Although it’s easy to deny that the work needs to start right now, try and fight it! Get a group of friends together and start committing to weekly training sessions with others alongside you to keep you accountable and motivated.
‘I’ve got this and the finish line is going to be amazing!’ After the phase of denial comes optimism, somewhere along the journey you start to see small rewards and improvements from putting the work in and it starts to feel great. The race is still a while off but you’re already visualising that moment of crossing the line. This can be a great morale boost but don’t let yourself slide now just because you’re doing so well. Use this feeling as a springboard to keep going and keep pushing!
Even those in a regular and dedicated training routine can feel daunting when you see the big day looming closer and closer. It’s normal to have pre-race nerves and panic, you’ve been building up to this date for a long time. Take comfort that a lot of people are also in your situation and feeling exactly the same. Nerves, channelled in the right way, can be really helpful to give you a sense of adrenaline to keep you going. Stay balanced, calm and give be kind to yourself and the effort you have put into getting where you currently are.
Then, finally, a week or a few days before the race you accept that it’s just around the corner, that you’ve done as much as you can do and that going on crazy long training runs now to make up for lost time would actually do more harm than good. Accept that you’ve put your all into this and that you’re ready for the challenge in front of you! You can do it!