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RISE runners workshop – December summary

On Saturday, 8th December 2012, we held our second workshop for the RISE UK runners at Stuio57 in Hove. Julie Hales from RISE and Katie Schram of FitBitch also contributed.

For the mind segment of the session, we reviewed the importance of goal setting and I encouraged the participants to set several goals that they have control over versus having only one goal such as a specific time to complete the distance. That way, they would have more opportunity to ‘tick the box’ to say they had indeed achieved their goals, rather than having only one opportunity to say that they succeed or failed. As the Brighton Half Marathon would be a new experience for all the participants, as they had never run a half marathon distance, I suggested that one of their goals would simply be to complete the distance and to enjoy themselves!

We also reviewed how clarifying their reasons for doing the distance, the reasons why they wanted to take on such a challenge would help them to maintain their motivation during all the training. When exploring their reasons, I suggested that they think about what a difference achieving this particular goal will mean to the rest of their lives. Where else could they decide on a challenging goal that they might not initially believe they could achieve, outline a plan to achieve that goal, get help and support from others and ‘just do it’. How would they feel after achieving such a goal and how might they be with their friends, family and colleagues afterwards with this new-found confidence that they can do anything they put their mind to.

We then moved onto exploring and dispelling some of their fears. Many of the participants were worried about actually being able to complete the distance, since they had never done it before. A suggestion to address that fear is to get and follow a training program. Training programs are designed to help runners get to the finish line safely. The incremental increase in distances are achievable and leads them up to actually doing the race distance.

Another fear was about having the time to do all the training, in addition to their busy lives. The key to address this issue is one of organization and delegation. Having a schedule for everything they have to do and sticking to it as best they can is a step in the right direction, as well as delegating some jobs that others can help out with to give them time was another suggestion.

As it is the holiday season, we talked about strategies to manage the disruption that the season can often cause to our training routine, to our eating and drinking habits and to taking time out to rest and recharge. The ideas discuss regarding the training is to complete the training first thing in the morning ‘before the day gets away with you’. Although it is best to stick to a regular training schedule, sometimes you need to be flexible in your approach and may have to switch days of sessions to accommodate the social season. For example, doing a long run or hard training session the morning after a big party might not be the wisest ideas!

On the eating front, ideas included eating before going to cocktail parties where nibbles would be served and to minimize temptation around your own home of unhealthy food choices. Another suggestion was to do some meal planning for home so that there is healthy food choices at home to make healthy meals.

Holiday season can be a stressful time for many people, so taking time out regularly to recharge your batteries is a good idea. A couple of suggestions included ensuring there are gaps in your schedule so you are not overloading it with commitments back to back. Another suggestion was simply to say no to some invitations if you need some down time to rest and to delegate jobs.

Overall, the session was fun and informative, and the participants went away excited to be taking on their half marathon challenge!

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