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The Unelite Athlete

What comes after the race?

I met someone recently and they were keen to find out firstly, how I take on the distances I do, and secondly, what I do when the race us over?

So here it is, my must do list after a race:

CELEBRATE

This is either over indulged, or under achieved depending on what sort of race you have. If you have the best race ever and smash that goal that you set, then metaphorically speaking, the bubbles start to flow! Which is perfect, you earned it.

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The important thing here is to enjoy yourself but, also remember that the party won’t last until next month. Moving forward, you always want to start with the fitness level attained from your latest endeavour, instead of letting yourself forget about all that hard work and finding yourself back to the start.

Say you’re down because you didn’t have a good race. It was hard, and awful, and you scraped your way across the finish line. Well I still say celebrate! It takes guts to finish when your crawling along the course (as long as you’re not risking your health and wellbeing). The saying goes “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and yeah, you’re tough enough to get it done!

TAKE A BREAK AND REFLECT

This has become a must for me. I don’t do any training for at least a week. Then I do all easy paced running the following week, including plenty of stretching.

Normally I’m too beat up from racing that I need time to get everything back to normal. There’s no sense in doing one race then beating yourself into oblivion just because you think you’ll be fine. You might feel fine but, the risk of injury outweighs the gains you’re going to get. So what to do?

Normally I enjoy the thought of my achievements. Look at where I’ve been, and think about what’s next.

Again let’s say you had a bad race, you still need your body to recover, and you still need to reflect. Use this time to figure out what went wrong, and what direction you want to go in.

Don’t go signing up for races though! A great coach from America told me when I was recovering from a DNF that your next target has to come organically, meaning you can’t force a target you might not want to do.

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PLAN WHAT’S NEXT

You know now what you want to do, or what direction you want to move towards. This is when it’s most important to look at a plan of action, and to put it into a routine that suits you. There’s no point in setting yourself a goal and failing to work towards it, just by expecting to do well. Its especially important not to get complacent about a new goal, because you expect it to go as well as the last.

And again, if you didn’t do well on your last target, you’ll hopefully be super motivated this time to really put in the extra work you might need, or cut back on any over training which may be sabotaging your performance.

Either way, if the experience of racing was great or not, there is ALWAYS a way forward. We can always improve, whether we nailed it last time, or it was a total flop. Enjoy the process. The way I see it, it’s not a destination but, a journey. And I want it to last long into the future.

Catch up with you soon

Calum

 

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