Summer is often a time of transition for runners and non-runners alike. For the harriers of the world with the season also comes a host of opportunities, possibly new beginnings, a few ‘coming out’ parties, and always a chance to be inspired and assess what kinds of goals you’d like to achieve going forward.
Summer IS Track: Regardless of what I’m wearing (though we all know it’s probably running clothes) or doing, when I think summer visions of the track, the taste of salt, and a phantom ache in my legs magically appears. For track fans and track runners I venture to guess I’m not alone, unfortunately the rest of America needs a little track brainwashing as anyone who’s watched some European races (or the lucky guys who’ve raced there) can attest!
Thankfully it’s an Olympic year so America’s stepped up its game, the Trials will have packed stands and a nice preview to that will be starting tomorrow and going through Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic. The buzz of the big championship races has set in, but not just for the elites; late May and June bring the High School State meets, the NCAA Championships, Masters Champs, all-comer meets and everything in between.
Summer is opportunities: All those meets I just mentioned leaves prime picking for people to get their speed on. Regardless of your age, where you are, or your distance speciality it’s great to switch gears, mix up what races you run and challenge yourself. A marathoner can jump into a mile and refresh the memory of full on lactic-onslaught from the gun. Racing outside your comfort zone will translate into better racing for your target distance too.
Summer is transition: For any graduates the summer marks an upcoming transition whether it’s to college or the ‘real world.’ With running it’s usually a matter of setting yourself up to best integrate into your new team, new training schedule, new coaches and new environment. If you’re off to college it’s easy to fall victim to the ‘over-eagar Freshman’ syndrome; of course be excited and ready to set high goals but just be careful not to over-do it either…if you’ve only ever run 20 miles a week don’t go straight into 50 mile weeks. For college graduates that might mean wondering where your running fits in with your life or job…that can be scary but with anything find what makes you happy and fit everything around it. Easier said than done, yea, but runners are great multi-taskers. 🙂
Summer is a time for coming out: Back to those big races, inevitably there are always those stories that capture our attention and put us in awe of people we’ve never heard of before. It’s more a matter of a person’s hard work finally paying off at the right moment; be it at the Olympic Trials, the high school state meet, or a collegiate runner splashing onto the elite scene. For those on the cusp of a potential party, run for it like you’ve always been doing and have confidence in yourself. As spectators watch and cheer for these ‘party throwing runners’ and gain motivation from them too. They had a goal, worked hard for it and persevered.
Summer is a time to assess: Maybe you want to be the one throwing that party next season, perhaps you are entering your senior year and want to go out with a bang, maybe you are just starting training for a race and maybe you’ve just fallen into the sport. Either way, the summer’s not only about big races but after those races it’s usually ‘base training’ time and then gearing up for the next upcoming season. Here’s when you should be taking a look at your current fitness and setting some goals going forward. That could be a race, a time, a place, making a team, or just getting some more speed. Set something concrete and be willing to put in the miles. Just keep running. 🙂
No matter who you are, (But I’ll like you more if you’re a fan of running…just say…hehe.) be excited for the summer season. Whether that’s cheering, battling race day nerves, over-coming track phobia, dreaming of cake on your long runs, anticipating college or just putting your treadmill through a beating. 🙂
1) What does the word summer bring to your mind?
2) What does your upcoming summer mean for you, what opportunities do you have? What does this summer bring for you running-wise?
3) Does this summer mark a transition for you?
4) If you had to quickly assess your running and what you’d like to achieve coming up, what would you say?
5) Who else is excited for some epic track races coming up here??