This time of year is all about the holidays. However, while many runners also look forward to the holiday season it’s usually not the only thing on our minds. we are also busy planning our race schedule for the upcoming year.
As you begin to decide on your goals for 2015 here are some things to consider;
-Challenge yourself with a new distance. Sure it might be intimidating and if you doubt you’re capable I think it’s even more of a reason to do it. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure can be one of the most motivating consequences, if you let it be. Besides, many times our fear of failure is more in our heads than in our abilities. You might just be surprised how truly awesome you are.
Pace a Friend. A great introduction to longer distances is acting as a pacer for another runner. In my first two ultra-marathons my cousin paced me for 18 miles and 15 miles. He was a pretty novice runner at that point. Not only did it allow him to experience the distance, it also gave him an opportunity to see firsthand the level of suffering I was experiencing. I think it also gave him the confidence to know he was also more than capable of running those long distances.
-Plan a destination race. Who doesn't enjoy traveling? We just returned from Vegas for the Rock & Roll half marathon and had a blast. We introduced lots of new runners to our club, had a great get together with current members and the event itself was awesome. One thing you need to consider (outside of cost) is how will the destination race differ from other events? Will you race it or just go to have fun? How will the weather, elevation and terrain differ from what you’re used to? By the way, we are going back to Vegas in 2015 J
-Mentor a new runner. For me there is nothing more rewarding than seeing others succeed. Make it your goal in 2015 to find that non-runner who doesn't believe they are capable and help them prove they are wrong. Don’t get mad when others talk down about your running or make fun of it. Many times this is happening because they don’t believe they are capable themselves. How do I know?...because I used to be that person.
-Cross Train. Cross training is a great way to prolong your running career and also a perfect way to improve your overall fitness. Cycling, swimming, weights, rowing and Crossfit are just a few possible options you can consider. It’s also a good way to help you become a faster and stronger runner.
-Volunteer. Whether it’s an injury, budget constraints or just looking for something to do volunteering for a race can be a very rewarding experience.
-Give. There’s big money in road racing and there are plenty of companies out there just looking to make a buck. I feel it’s important you pick races that are looking to give back. Not only should find races who have partnered with charities. You should also find out how much of their profits will be donated.
Whatever your plans for 2015 here’s hoping you have many great experiences and successes. And if things don’t go exactly as planned just keep in mind this is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride!