Return to Racing

By Andrew Miller

With the ongoing pandemic limiting racing opportunities over the last couple years, many of you will probably be lining up at the
start line this year for your first race in quite a while. I have run 2 races in the last 2 years, but haven’t run a 100 miler since 2019.
Now, I’m looking forward to my return to 100s this September, but this one is going to feel different since as it’s been so long!

It may feel daunting to toe the start line after a long break from racing, but there’s no need to get worried. After all, you’ve done it before so there’s no reason that you won’t be able to do it again. Even if you are stepping up a new distance this year or looking to run your first race, there’s no need to feel intimidated.

Lining up at a race, I always tell myself that I’m just going for a run. This September, that will be especially important for me as it’s been so long since I’ve run that far! In the days before a race, I often feel a little tense because running an ultramarathon, or any distance, is a big undertaking. Plus, I have a lot invested in the race, so I really want to make sure everything goes well.

Over the years, I’ve realized that all my best races have come when I’m feeling relaxed leading up to the race. Sometimes I think about the training I have done for the race to gain confidence, other times I break the race into small pieces and think of the race a series of short runs instead of one long push. Most often, I try to imagine that the race will be no different than my last short run before the race. I’ll just be going a little longer, but it’s still just running.

For those of you out there who are running your first race in a couple years, stepping up to a new distance, or just looking for a little more confidence on the start line, remind yourself that you are just going for a run. You have done a lot of runs before and have been specifically preparing for this event, so there’s no need to be worried. Just go out and have fun!


Add Structure to your Training

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