I seem to be a person that always struggles to make a big decision and commit to it. If there is a household item that I definitely need, I will take forever looking around and researching all about it before I decide to get it. I’ve been to five countries so far this year, and this comes after almost six years of stay-cations and thoughts of “I can’t afford it” popping into my head. The same goes for my road races. I will sit and dwell upon it until I literally have to force myself on the computer and register within the last few weeks before the race. I don’t think I’m alone with this either. In conversations with my fellow middle-packers (and back-of-packers), it seems that most of us will put off registering for a race for a variety of reasons–fear of not being ready, nerves, money, and work to name a few.
While these are all valid reasons, I have discovered that I’ve been doing things backwards. One should register for a race first, and then work backwards from their race date while planning their training. This will allow you to prepare appropriately, which naturally lessens your nerves. Furthermore, by registering early you can give you boss a heads up and save money by getting in on the early bird discounts. Giving yourself ample time to plan your schedule, do the drills, stretches, and runs with your goal race in mind will give you direction and purpose in your training. From reading various running blogs of everyone from everyday runners like us to the elites, one thing they seem to have in common (apart from Seinfeldian observations about the sport) is talking about their goal race that is sometimes over 2 or 3 months away. Every entry counts down the weeks and days until race day. I’ve done this many times in my head and on facebook status updates, but I never thought to do it for the purposes of reestablishing my ultimate goal.
I have thus decided that signing up for races last-minute is a thing of the past for me. Instead, I will plan ahead, train hard, and use my goal race as the cheese at the end of my maze!
But maybe some of you prefer to take part in races due to your schedule or just general preference? I would love to hear from you! What race are you currently working towards? Let me know by commenting below and/or dropping a note via Runners Feed’s facebook page or Twitter.
About the Author: Olivier Dyason is a full time working professional whose newfound love for running has turned into a new obsession. After obtaining a B.A. in Film Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Olivier began work at the National Film Board of Canada as a Team Leader and Events Coordinator. Although a middle-of-the-packer now, Olivier hopes to steadily improve his running through constant training and advice from places such as Runners Feed.