Monday Morning Mindset: So Your Race Did/Did Not Go As You Planned…

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Congrats! You got to the starting line, that is a big deal. That is a big part of achieving your goal. Then the race itself, and the finish line…

Running a marathon (or any race that you set as a goal) is an incredible feat that requires months of training, determination, and a strong mindset. Not every race goes as planned, despite your best efforts. It can be disheartening to put in so much effort only to face challenges during the race. Remember, a race is not just about the finish line; it’s also about the journey and the invaluable lessons it teaches us.

Part 1:

So how do you bounce back after a less than ideal race?

  1. Acceptance: It’s crucial to acknowledge that not every race will be a personal best. External factors like weather, course conditions, and even your own health can impact your performance. Recognize, this is normal. Acceptance paves the way for growth.
  2. Reflect and Learn: After the initial disappointment, take time to reflect on what happened. Analyze your training, your race-day strategy, and the factors that might have contributed. This process can help you pinpoint areas for improvement and set goals for future races.
  3. Embrace Resilience: This can be a test of your mental and emotional resilience. The setbacks as opportunities to strengthen your character as an athlete. Building mental toughness that will serve you well in all aspects of life.
  4. Focus on the Journey: A race is not just about race day, but about the entire journey. The training, the camaraderie, and the personal growth; is all part of the experience. Focusing on the journey, rather than just the outcome.
  5. Celebrate Small Wins: There are likely small victories that you can celebrate. Recognize and celebrate these accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.
  6. Set New Goals: Set new goals for yourself. These goals can be related to your training, nutrition, or even preparation. You can reignite your passion and stay motivated for the future.
  7. Seek Support: Don’t be afraid to seek support from others. Talking about your experience with others can provide valuable insights and encouragement.
  8. Stay Positive: Try and channel your energy into staying positive, setting new goals, and continuing to pursue your passion for running.

Remember that every setback is an opportunity for growth. By accepting what happened, reflecting on the experience, and focusing on the journey, you can bounce back with a positive mindset. Embrace resilience, celebrate your small wins, set new goals, seek support, and, most importantly, stay positive. With the right mindset, your next race can be an even more rewarding experience, regardless of the outcome.

Part 2:

Another view; everything went great, even better than expected maybe, on race day.

You’ve done it! Training, dedication, and preparation, race day went off without a hitch. Every aspect aligned perfectly, and finished feeling exhilarated and satisfied. Now what? After the euphoria of a flawless race, many athletes are left wondering about their next steps.

  1. Savor the Victory
  2. Rest and Recover
  3. Reflect and Learn: What worked well, and what could be enhanced?
  4. Set New Goals: Time goals? Hire a coach? Try a new distance? So many!!!
  5. Mix Up Your Training: Incorporate strength training, cross-training, or even try a new running style like trail or hill running to keep things interesting and challenge your body in new ways.
  6. Join a Running Community
  7. Give Back: Volunteer at races or mentoring new runners.
  8. Plan Your Next Race

Experiencing a perfect race day is a tremendous accomplishment, but it’s just one step in the ongoing journey. Your post race experience is a chance to learn, grow, and continue to find joy and purpose in athletic endeavors. Every finish line is the start of a new race, and your journey is far from over.

So what is next for you? Whether it is an athletic goal or not it is always great to have a focus. Tell me about yours!

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Terri was not an athlete growing up. Maybe a bit “athletic” and definitely awkward. Now she is not only a runner and triathlete, but a Coach (running + triathlon) as well! She has been a part of the Chicago “sport” community for over 25 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Movement Specialist. Terri runs her own business, Urban Wellness Chicago in the wicker Park neighborhood; and also works with the Northwestern University Athletic Department. She does now consider herself an athlete, and regularly competes in races of multiple distances. Oh and yes, still a bit awkward! Terri is also a Certified Life & Happiness Coach with her own business All You Coaching; with additional focus on performance, life transitions, confidence, and mindset.

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