Advice About Training When You Aren’t Signed Up for a Race
I’m in the middle of training, but I’m not signed up for a race. This winter, without a spring or summer race in mind to train for (yet!), I have just been enjoying working out, and running when I can.
As devoted and passionate runners, many of us like the idea of training for something. It gives us drive and purpose. We like the idea of looking forward to something, always pursuing a goal that we have set.
However, as runners constantly training for something, we can oftentimes miss out on the joys of just working out to stay in shape, or on other opportunities to try new workouts. Through this article, I want to encourage anyone like me who is maybe feeling a little anxious about not being signed up for a race, and provide some advice on training in the midst of it.
BENEFITS OF NOT BEING SIGNED UP FOR A RACE:
It’s ok to not be signed up for a race, and here are some benefits to it:
You don’t have to be committed to a consistent training schedule if your current life doesn’t allow for it.
As a routine-oriented person, I understand the anxiousness that one may feel without a consistent schedule. However, I have learned to embrace the lack of a regular schedule in my life, and actually really enjoy it. During these stages of life, it may be better just to embrace what the inconsistency and spontaneity can bring you in your training, rather than stress out about setting up a consistent training schedule that is not possible for you to follow. No matter what, whether you are running every morning, every night, or anytime in between, running can still bring you the peace and control you need in your life.
You have more time to strength train and/or cross-train.
If you aren’t signed up for a race, now is the perfect time to try something completely new. When you aren’t as focused on running, your body has the chance to stretch itself in a new way. Whether it’s yoga, swimming, or rock climbing, you might discover a love for a new active activity. Also, now is a great time to engage in regular strength training.
You can enjoy running in a way you might not when you are training.
Only have 20-minutes to run today? Great, make the most out of that time. When you aren’t training for a race, you can just go out there and run, for as long as your schedule allows, or for however long you set up your new goal to be. You may find that not following such a strict schedule can help you fall back in love with the sport.
You can set yourself up for success when you do sign-up for your next race.
This is the time to regain a new passion for running and think about new goals for what you want to accomplish in your next race. Because you have taken this time away from intense race training, you will feel refreshed and ready to go if and when you decide to sign-up for another race.
ADVICE ON HOW TO STAY IN “TRAINING SHAPE” WITHOUT TRAINING FOR A RACE:
During this time, you can still set goals or even a “training” plan if you so choose to, but it may just look different than a regular training plan, or you may have to adjust your goals depending on the week. You may try and create some consistency in your schedule by working out at certain times each week, or you may set goals oppositely by deciding what workouts you want to do that week and then setting them up in your schedule. Regardless, it is important to do whatever works for you for the time being and to enjoy working out and staying in shape.
Are you an avid runner in the middle of training without being signed up for a race? What is your favorite part about it?