There are enough runs, rides, and walks to keep you booked every weekend. They are a great way to stay motivated, socialize, and the entry fee money usually benefits a worthy cause. What about when you have crossed the finish line and just want to have a run for fun? Many athletes reach a point where they just want to train for the love of the sport, not for a competition.
Many people don’t understand why anybody would want to run a marathon. A lot of miles go into preparing for such event. It can be ever harder to get people to understand why a runner would want to get up before daybreak and take a long run without being “in training” for an event. Lots of people partake in fitness for the sole purpose of keeping fit and the exercise relationship stops there. There is nothing wrong with that one bit. However, certain people find a special connection with their sport. Some explain it as a spiritual part of their life, a type of meditation.
While some athletes train and race constantly, others lose some of the racing romance. This is ok – it doesn’t mean that a runner is no longer a runner or that if you aren’t racing then there is no point in training. In fact some believe that avoiding hard core races can be a healthier choice. Covert Bailey , author of Smart Exercise recommends that the best way to avoid overtraining is to never actually run in a marathon, but training for one is just fine he suggests with a tongue in cheek tone.
The most important thing to realize is that if you are fortunate enough to find a sport that you can connect with, then keep doing it for the personal satisfaction involved. Forget feeling that if you do not compete you will be lesser a runner, biker, swimmer, boxer – whatever! Remember why you began the sport. Think about the feeling you get from moving your body and appreciate the fact that you can move. If you aren’t enjoying the crowded races, or pushing yourself really hard is no longer your idea of a good time, take some time out from organized events. There is certainly nothing wrong with a little personal training once and awhile. -pm