Other types of goals in races

So you’ve entered an event months and months ago, it’s quite a big event, more than a half marathon but less than a marathon, and now it’s the week before the race. The Southside 6 is this weekend, and what if you haven’t managed to train for it?

Almost 16 hilly miles through 6 parks in Glasgow, perhaps not for the faint hearted.

Life has happened and for one reason or another you’ve only managed to squeeze in a few 3-4 milers in the last 4 weeks. :-/

You’ve run marathons in the past, and about a month before you training for and completed a half marathon race, but now you’re worried you haven’t done enough and you’re wondering whether you should pull out.

I say, as an experienced runner you’ll know what you’re capable of. If you run races and run them really fast all the time, maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to do that this time. With your lower training load, maybe it’s an idea to forget pace and pbs and set yourself another goal for the event.

Speed, times and pace aren’t the be all and end all. Speed, times and pace are a result of your effort, your training and the conditions on the day. They’re the outcome of your efforts and the day. If you know me, you’ll know don’t particularly like time based goals! 

Here are some goals you could shoot for instead:

Run and have fun! Take it easy, enjoy yourself. Each time you find it hard in the race, remind yourself you want to take it easy, and ease up. On a 1-5 scale, go for 2-3. It might feel a bit odd, but try it. It’ll be easier on your body as a whole and it should open up your senses to see hear and feel more. (Or run at 1-2 minutes per mile slower than you normally would).

Run with someone else, on race day, run with and chat with other runners. You could either find a friend who you know slower than you (to help you take it easy), or just talk to strangers. Help them do the course. Get to know people and share the experience.

Help someone else – you might have done this race 4 times, or you might want to help someone run it. Helping others achieve their goals is great. I do it and love doing it when I pace at events, and when I helped Fit Girl on her first marathon. You take the pressure off you and you get to revel in their achievement.

Go to the back of the pack and see what it’s like to run there instead of up the front / middle. When you’re up at the front you might automatically run fast alongside all the other fast runners. At the back, stick to the pace of other runners, and feel the love and chat at the back of the pack.

Run in fancy dress, nothing says fun like running in fancy dress. Super girl, super man, bat man. And look at the date, the race is the day after Halloween! What better reason to go in fancy dress! (It should slow you down and make you think ‘fun’ instead of race, and you’ll have a great laugh – as will everyone who sees you!) You could even raise money on the route or for the run.

Run with your heart rate easy – keep your heart rate below 80% of your max. Or below 140-150 if you’re 30-40. (If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, run at a 2-3 out of 1-5 where 5 is hellish hard.)

And do remember, that 16 miles is quite a long way, so if you really think you’re not up for it for whatever reason, pull out (like I did last year after fainting) and free up a space for someone else.   

I learned a few of these other goals above when I moved up to running my first ultra marathon, the D33. I had 10 goals and none were pb based.
I only had one very loose time goal, and if I didn’t get it, it didn’t matter as I’d have probably done all the rest. See more here: https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2012/03/18/my-goals-for-the-d33-tick-some-tips/

Take into consideration the amount of training you’ve done, the things that are going on in your life that might have prevented you from training, and set yourself simple easy goals that are not time based. Then see how you are on the day.

Have fun and most importantly, take care of yourself. 🙂

Now I have to add, that this is for the benefit of someone else who’s doing the SS6 this weekend, and in going to just see how it goes on Sunday.

No time goals for me, but I might just do another wee heart rate test where I push my heart rate up to 165 for it and see what happens. Eeek! 😉

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