Recently, a friend came to me with a running dilemma: With less than a week to go before her spring half marathon, she came down with the flu and had to bail on the race. Since she didn’t want a winter’s worth of workouts go to waste, she wanted to sign up for another spring halfer. But at this point, her only real option was the very hilly, very challenging Flying Pig.
So while she has a race to run, she also has a new series of performance issues. The hilly course means she’ll have to recalculate her pace, finishing time and overall goals — she was freaking out about her imminent failure.
My suggestion to her? Take the pressure off your performance. I’m a big believer in realistically reframing your expectations in a way that allows you to enjoy your race.
In this case, I knew my friend couldn’t just “let go” of her preconceived notions of success and failure if she was just running the half marathon. Instead, I suggested that she sign up for the “three way,” which means running the 5K and 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.
I know this way, she’ll be focused on finishing and not a specific time or pace goal for the half marathon. And maybe she’ll even have a little fun while she’s at it.
Do you have a similar predicament? Here are some ways you can reframe a race to change the challenge:
- Add a race or try back-to-back races.
- Take on a new race distance.
- Pace a (slower) friend and focus on helping him or her achieve a goal.
- Run in costume.
- Race for a charity.
Do whatever you have to do to get yourself to the start line with a smile. Remember, the race is the reward. Repeat after me: The race is the reward. The race is the reward. THE RACE IS THE REWARD! — Aidz