By now we’re used to plans changing. No one likes it, but we’ve all had some practise in this area over the past year.
The challenge we have as runners is how do you then train for an event when the goal posts keep changing? It’s an interesting question, and probably a tell-tale sign that distance and time are your main measures of success. This could be based on previous race experiences or just a number you want to beat or even ticking off the race destination itself. These are patterns that have become engrained in runners and we have an opportunity now to try something new and see how it fits!
We’ve all been there and learned the hard lesson of “good days and bad days” when it comes to running, and if you change the goal of what you are running for, uncertain times, conditions and situations can be easier to manage.
Let’s take external factors, for example. If you train for changing conditions, you’ll end up committing to hot or wet weather, or hilly terrain over the standard flat road race. So, the skills you need to develop for that goal are different – perhaps more challenging, and arguably more rewarding when you train to conquer them. Who knows, it might even open new doors for races you may not have considered before. Maybe you were busy chasing international goals before that you hadn’t noticed equally challenging races like Great Ocean Road marathon and half marathon, right here in your own backyard of Victoria. It’s a perfect combo of hills, scenery, unpredictable May weather and town to town distances rather than perfectly sign posted kilometre marks with huge crowd support. It has a community feel and it’s pretty grounding to let go of the numbers and just run for the experience you’ve trained for.
Or maybe, just maybe, God forbid, you decide to run a shorter distance for speed instead of distance, and speed work, cross training and mobility become your next focus? Very few of us can say we expected to see what was coming in recent times, so maybe now is the perfect time to take control and shake things up ourselves – starting with being open to changing your running goals.
If you’re looking for what’s next – the Australian Outback Marathon – held on the last Saturday of July every year – and there’s something for everyone!