Fall racing season is in full swing. Every weekend there are at least several races that I would love to jump into. Running a race for “fun,” can be just that, but it can also lead to lasting fatigue if it’s are thrown in when it’s recovery should be the focus, sudden injury if the body isn’t ready, or impede a solid training plan.
I’ve heard the refrain of not being ready for a race often in running circles. I’ve uttered it myself. Some times I’ve used and heard the bravado of confidence right before race day, when in fact, the reality is that training is lacking by a huge margin. I think it’s absolutely ok to go in to a race barely or under trained. But, to take away the true value I see in running, you have to respect the distance.
Jumping into a 5k when you normally do ultras. No problem. Jumping into a 100 miler when your training runs are normally 5k? Problem. The length of race day will not last for too long. After it is over, it will be a blink of a memory. But the benefits and growth that come from dedicated training can last months, years, or even a lifetime. If you’re out there on a whim, then by all means, take it easy and let things coast gently. But, if you’re one of those seekers of running, looking for something more than a instagram photo op, if you’re looking for anything more than a fleeting memory, respect the distance. It will force you into some level of commitment and training that will lead to more lasting rewards when the finish line comes and goes.
~Get Out and Get After It. Happy Running Ya’ll~