Last year, I ran a local 4-mile race put on by the New York Road Runners. Still sore from the impromptu half marathon I ran the weekend before, I was not looking forward to getting up early to run a race I was going to jog and not race. When I originally registered for the race, I had hoped to run it as hard as possible. But since I wasn’t recovered from the half marathon the week before, running as fast as I could was a bad idea.
After jogging over to the start line and securing my place in a corral, I thought about the advice I give my run coaching clients when they use races as training runs to help them reach their ‘A’ goal.
During the half marathon the week before, I overran the course by .3. Missing the tangents by .3 could mean missing my goal next month during the Brooklyn Half Marathon. When I had this realization, I knew my goal for the race last week was to run the tangents as closely as possible.
Once my race had a purpose, my outlook immediately changed. I could still run this race and benefit from it even if I was taking it easy.
Here are 10 goals you can set for your next race that have nothing to do with setting a PR:
- Run the tangents as closely as possible.
- Drink water from a cup at water stops without having to come to a complete stop and have it actually go in your mouth (instead of all over your shirt).
- Run your own race and not get caught up in the pace of other runners.
- Run a negative split by running the second half of the race faster than you ran the first half of the race.
- Leave your music and earphones at home to prove you can run without music.
- Successfully pace a friend during their first race.
- Finish feeling strong instead of depleted.
- Not look at your watch and run by feel.
- Reframe your thoughts and squash any negative ones that come up.
- Have fun and high-five as many spectators as possible.
Setting a goal for a race that isn’t time related can be beneficial and help you to reach a bigger goal or to just enjoy the race!
For someone in their 60’s who have never done any type of running, what would you suggest they do to get started and what sites would be helpful for this purpose? I have never done any type of running other than the little you do on a tread mill at the gym. I need to find another way to get the cardio going and keep it going. Being over 60 there does not seem to be a lot of information for us seniors
Runner’s World is great resource!
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