We have yet again been faced with another hiatus from racing, and for a lot of us, our last race was well before Christmas. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that end is very near!! To say the concept of racing again is exciting, would be an understatement, as I can’t wait to get back out there and see where I’m at!
This got me thinking, what is it about racing that we love so much?
Opportunity to test
One of the greatest things about racing is the opportunity it provides us with to test ourselves. It gives us the chance to test our fitness, our mindset, and our training. When in a race setting, we do all we can to prepare our body to be pushed to the limit. By doing so, we can clearly see where our fitness is. Thus, this allows us to recognise whether we are heading in the right direction or if we need to reevaluate a few things. It is an exciting challenge that allows us to step outside our comfort zones and see what we are capable of.
It also allows us to test our mindset. Training is very different to racing. No matter how hard we push ourselves in training, racing is a different game and a chance to really see what our body is capable of. For that reason, when we go into a race, we adopt a very different mindset than we do for every training session. For a race, we mentally, just as much as physically, prepare ourselves. We are much more focused, we get ‘in the zone’ and we shut off to outside distractions. Whereas it is difficult to adopt this mindset for every training session that we do. This is why racing allows us to test our minds as it gets us used to focus on the task ahead and shutting off any distractions.
In training, there are things that signal to you that everything is going in the right direction. Whether it be rep times or time trials, you can tell roughly where your fitness is at. However, no time trial or session can exactly replicate a race, therefore you can never gage the exact time you will run in a race until you do it. By racing regularly, we can recognise when training is coming together nicely and propelling us forward, and when we may need to look at what we are doing and highlight the aspects that aren’t working so well.
Chance to see friends again
The running community is such a close knit one as it is the same faces you see at every race. Whilst they may be your competition in the midst of a race, before and after, they are your friends. I have met some incredible people through running, and ones that have become good friends. With the absence of racing, it has meant that it has been a year since I last saw some of them. The return of racing will once again mean I can finally see these people, and I can’t wait.
Throughout lockdown, whilst we have all been training hard and making progress, it has felt at times as though you are stagnant and not doing anything to step towards your goals. The return of racing will mean that finally we can actually move forward and take proactive steps towards our goals. It will feel great to have regular races to work towards and keep determination high.
There are so many reasons why racing is great and for different people it means something different, but this is what keeps it exciting and motivates us all.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!