Many years ago, the late George Sheehan advised us to “run like a child.” Great advice; we should all bring joy and wonder to our running. But to this, we should add “but plan your races like an adult.” Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when putting together your race schedule for the coming year:
Are you racing for fun or with a feeling of obligation? If you are racing out of habit, and it’s starting to feel like more of a job than a treat, you might consider choosing different kinds or races, racing in other places, or taking time away from racing.
Are you going to try something new? Variety is the spice of life – spice up your race schedule! Add different distances or types of races. How about an obstacle course race, or an adventure race?
What were the lessons of 2012? Is there anything you can take from your past race experience that could be used to improve your upcoming race performance? Did you have any injuries that you need to avoid repeating?
Who would you like to race with? To borrow a phrase, it takes a village to run a race, but you also don’t need to be alone in a crowd on race day. Before you sign up for any races, find out what races your running friends might be interested in doing. Sharing an experience – traveling to the race, competing, and celebrating or commiserating afterwards – is a lot more fun than keeping it all to yourself.