How To Dream Big In 2020
As the 2019 season draws to a close, a lot of athletes are setting goals for next year. For most of us, 2020 will be our bravest, most ambitious season yet.
As coaches, we WANT you to dream big and run boldly. For some people, that might mean reaching a new distance or knocking a few minutes off their PR. For others, it means running consistently and injury-free. Maybe, it’s simply getting out the door a couple more days a week, and balancing a busy life schedule with a full training load. All of these are equally brave and valid.
As coaches, it’s also our role to help you set thoughtful, helpful goals. We want you to reach for the stars – but we want you to be ready, too.
There are a few things you should consider when looking for races in 2020. It’s always good to check yourself, and ask why I am I doing this? Is it a place that you love? A distance that you want to improve? Why does it have meaning for you? Basically, you should Kon-Mari your race schedule – does this spark joy?
Racing has a cost. To do well, you need a taper. After you’ve given your all on race day, you’ll need time to recover. That affects consistency, and should be taken into account when figuring out if a certain race is right. If a friend asks you to run a race with them, instead of signing up right away, ask How can I support you? After a bad race (or even a good race) stay the hell away from UltraSignup.
No one can do this for you, but your coaches are here to help. We’d love to chat our your specific race goals and big picture running-life plan.
When you race, you should want to bring the best runner possible to the finish line. And when you finish (REMEMBER: only DNF if health is at risk) you shouldn’t feel like you’ve gotten away with something, or walked it in. You should feel proud, and know that you’ve done your best. I’d rather see an athlete do their best at a 5k than slog though a 100 miler anyday.
Running an ultra instead of a marathon, and 100 miles instead of a 50 does not make you a badass. What makes you a badass is daring boldly and comitting to the consistency required to excel at the goals you’ve set, and having the vulerability to truly, truly commit to chasing them. Badasses will skip any startline that doesn’t help them reach their real goals. Badasses don’t need validation from Instagram or Strava to know what they’re doing is great. They know how to say no, becasue growth happens in empty spaces.
Anyone can run long distances. It’s much harder to admit that you want to be excellent at any distance. That’s freaking brave.
Apart even from racing, dreaming big means opening yourself up to failure. When you’re truly pushing yourself, it should be scary. Failure is inevitable. Know that you have a coach and a team behind you to support you and cheer you on, no matter the outcome. Honestly encountering your own potential should be effing terrifying.
And to our athletes who don’t have big, race-related goals: you are amazing, and we are here to support your goals as well. May we all channel your consistency and confidence in 2020.
So, what’s your next adventure?
This time of year is hard. It’s cold, it’s dark, and holidays bring a lot of challenges (and great things!) about balancing training time and family time. It’s ok to ask your family for time for yourself. It’s ok to ask your coaches for a break. You are perfect and loved regardless.
It should be noted that this blog is being written from a donut shop, because eating well and loving yourself are ALWAYS the most important parts of being in the Microcosm.