When it comes to having a successful race experience, I have come to depend on four elements,
You’ll see that they are not standalone, but that there are elements of each in the other – and that the basics of training and racing is comprised of these four things.
Commitment - Sign up for a race. In registering for a race you are setting a goal, putting your money on the line and committing to do something with a firm date in mind.
Consistency - Join a program or hire a coach. A lot of people use training plans that they find on Pinterest or a google search, and that’s great place to start - particularly if you’re a self starter and can keep yourself motivated with a “to do list” which is how a training plan or schedule can be perceived. In finding a plan/program, you need to be honest about where you’re starting and what your goal is, and also what your life looks like right now.
Ask yourself these questions:
What is your current level of fitness? How far can you run today?
What’s a reasonable goal and timeline for you to accomplish that goal?
What does your current lifestyle allow you to do for training? What adjustments need to take place to accommodate your goal or should your goal be adjusted? Can you train 5-6 times per week, or are you able to commit to 3 days per week? It’s important to be honest here and make the right adjustments to your timetables or you run the risk of getting frustrated and wanting to give up, or at least will find yourself stressed and not enjoying the program - and we are talking about learning to enjoy running, aren’t we?
Take me, for example, coming back from having my second baby, I am not going to commit to a half marathon in 12 weeks after giving birth. Running a business and a home and mothering 2 children has its own set of demands, and that’s without taking into consideration what shape my postpartum body is in. I will need to gauge where my body/fitness level is at, what my availability looks like, and pick my goals and make my plans accordingly.
Competition - This is the scariest of the Four C’s for some of us, but it can’t be neglected. You do not need to sign up for a race to win it, or to try to beat the person next to you. The idea here is that we are continually improving and getting better, learning new things - about the sport and about ourselves - and sharpening our skills. Competition - striving for something more - makes us work toward something bigger and better.
Camaraderie - Get a friend to do this with you, hire a coach or join a program/team. There are going to be days you don’t want to train, you may get tired and frustrated and want to throw in the towel. You may wake up nervous as hell on race day and think you’re not showing up to the start line. A friend, a teammate or a coach will all help you manage the emotions that keep us motivated and showing up!
The Four C’s are what I have built Sol Movement on because after more than a decade of using this model in my own life, I know it works. If you look at every aspect of your life, you’ll see that it works nearly everywhere. Where we make commitments and show up for them every day with the support of our friends and family, and at the point of performing well, we thrive.
It’s not necessarily about being the best, but at being your best and enjoying life there.
All of our running plans are put together with the 4-C's in mind and to help you achieve your goal. The plans include a digital training schedule with detailed workouts tailored for your objective; coaching in the form of videos and live calls to answer questions and review key aspects of your training (eg, nutrition, race day plans, form and function, etc), and most importantly community. Being in community helps to keep us motivated and inspired - we support one another and offer up virtual pats on the back, celebrate, and encourage one another. We offer a range of plans from Couch to 5K to half-marathon distance, and 1:1 coaching is also available. Click here to find a program that suits you.