Why We Should Celebrate Training, Not Racing

Why We Should Celebrate Training, Not Racing

Are you training for a running race? Here’s why you should pat yourself on the back today.

When you’re a runner, everybody is interested in the races you do. “What was your time?”, “where did you finish?”, and “so, what’s next?”

Hardly anybody seems to ask about the training that gets you to the start line. But we spend much more time training than we do actually running the race.

It’s time we took a moment to congratulate ourselves on the effort of getting through a training plan. Whether you’re one week in, or nearing peak week, take a minute today to recognise your hard work so far.

What Have You Learned About Yourself?

Running can teach us a lot about ourselves. This is even more obvious when we stick to a structured training plan over many weeks. What have you learned about your strengths and abilities as you’ve cranked out the miles? Has your ability to do this training programme surprised you? Did you think you’d struggle to train in the morning, or fit a run in at lunchtime? Training for a race can really highlight your strength of character.

Has Your Body Changed In Unexpected Ways?

Even if you didn’t start running to lose weight, your body has probably changed throughout this training plan. Are any of the changes surprising to you? What has created those changes – training, diet, hydration, stretching, cross training? Are you pleased with the changes, or have any of them challenged your body image? Just some of the benefits of running training: clearer skin, better digestion, a smaller waist, and better heart health.

What Has Running Helped You Achieve?

Look back over your training log to see what you’ve achieved. How many miles have you covered? How many training runs have you done? Then assess the progress that can’t be measured in miles or kilometres. Have you overcome a personal barrier, doubt, or self-belief? Have you achieved a significant “first”, like a non-stop mile, or sub-10-minute mile? Celebrate it all! If it feels weird to celebrate mini-milestones with non-running family, talk about it with your training partner. Or share it with us on our Facebook page or forum!

How Has Training For This Race Changed You?

You’re a runner now, so it’s time to look to the future of your participation in the sport. You’ll always be a runner. Even if you take time off, or never do another race, you’ll always be able to get back into the routine of training. How does it feel to know you can make a goal, stick to a plan, and achieve your target? And what will you apply these strengths to in the future? Think about how your experience as a runner could apply elsewhere. Jobs and careers, relationships, other hobbies, or even starting out on another dream like setting up your own business.

Training for a race is about much more than crossing the finish line. We’d love to know how it has changed you.

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