September 25, 2015
I have always used racing as a way of motivating me to run. If I don;t have a race in the diary then I simply am not motivated to train…sad but true. So I am lucky now that taking part in events is actually part of my work, and if anything I find it really difficult to say no to event organisers because I simply want to do them all, even if I secretly know I haven’t trained properly. If this was a medical condition I would call it CRSUD – Compulsive Race Sign Up disorder or something similar.
I do know however that some women suffer from the opposite condition…
They want to be able to take part in races but have a whole heap of fears bouncing around in their heads that prevent them from doing it. So here are 10 questions to ask yourself if you suffer from either of these annoying conditions.
1) Is the event local to me? – If it is, then I always say why the hell not. If you are not ready to run it why not offer to help steward. You then get all the thrill of the race without having to cover the distance. Or simply spectate, the buzz is similar either way. If the race is further away consider number 6
2) When is it? – Have you got enough time to train, or do you have enough running in your legs already. What else have you got going on between now and then? How realistic is it to include preparing for this race on top of everything else.
3) What will the distance be? – Is this a distance you have done before? If so will you be trying for a PB, or is it in prep for a larger race? If you are attempting a new distance for the first time do you believe you can cover the distance? (If not check out number 5)
4) Can you afford it? – How much does it cost? Does it represent value for money, or could you simply cover the distance in a training session with friends. What do you get for your entrance price and will you be upset to waste the money if you don’t manage to run (See 8)
5) Will you run it alone or with friends? – Is this a solitary thing or is it likely to be a social occasion too. Whenever you can double up this counts as multitasking, so rope some friends (real or virtual) in.
5) Are you happy to walk some of it if needs be? – You never know whats round the corner and you may not get the training you need in, so would you be prepared to walk some of it if needs be? Perhaps even deploying a walk run strategy right from the start.
6) Could this race be classed as a mini break? – Is this race going to take you away from home overnight or even for the whole weekend? Are you desperate for a getaway, can you rope in some friends (see 4) and make a real holiday of it. Your family might even be up for coming to cheer you on, or maybe this is the perfect excuse to get away from them.
7) How is this race going to help your longer term goals? – Is this a one off, or part of a wider training plan. Are you hoping to improve your time or try a new type of terrain? Or is fitting another race into your jam packed schedule just asking for trouble.
8) Are you willing to walk away? – There are all kinds of reasons you might need to pull out of a race and many (OK MOST) do not give refunds or allow you to defer to next year. Can you afford to lose your place, is there a fundraising element that would leave you in a difficult position.
9) What standard will the other runners be at? – Is this an event put on by a running club, or is it a fun run (hate that expression)Is there a cut off time, and can you confidently make it. How serious will others be taking the event and how much will there be to get excited about on the day?
10) Are you going to have fun? Seriously this has to be the MOST important thing you ask yourself, cos otherwise what is the point?
I would love to know how you feel about race entires, are you obsessed, do you enter far too many each year, or are you still nervously hovering over the “Book my place” button on the most awesome running event coming up in the next few months.