Youngers, 10k thoughts and training
I’m excited to be training for a 10k race with the RunDemCrew Youngers. I haven’t done one for years, despite it being what got me running in the first place. Actually, it wasn’t a race in the conventional sense. The Nike+ Human Race in 2008 included real races around the world and the option to run virtually wherever you were on the day. I decided to ‘compete’ virtually with the thousands of runners around the world and despite having to stop 3 times to be able to complete the distance it felt like a victory. This time I’ll be going head to head with 24,999 other runners in London - with no stopping along the way! - but most importantly I’ll be running it together with the great group of people that is the Youngers and mentors.
The Youngers project provides young people with a range of challenges, opportunities and support. A dozen young people are brought together to learn about themselves through running, creative challenges, shared experiences and access to a group of mentors from all backgrounds.
Together, the Youngers compile a mixtape of their own music and develop a magazine supplement, entirely created through their own ideas and work. The content of the magazine is based on their thoughts and learning from training for the British 10k race we’re all running together. But as I’ve learnt over the years, for rainy Thursday morning runs and on race day you’re alone: It’s down to the work you’ve decided to put in and your determination to meet your goal.
Running 10k is not going to be the biggest challenge for these guys, they run that distance at least once a week together with RunDemCrew. What will be challenging will be setting a goal that is realistic and then keeping their eyes in the ball, through training and the race itself. Aim too high and you’re up for an unpleasant experience in attempting to push your body beyond what it can do, fail to follow your plan and your body will rebel, aim too low and you’ll feel you could have given more. Aim realistically and train for it and you’ll have an amazing race on the day. Understanding your abilities and then training in accordance is absolutely key. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push yourself, it’s simply a reminder that you are only competing against yourself and your own aspirations. Leave the ego at the door, running’s about you and your journey.
My training has been lacking recently, considering what I was hoping to achieve in this race. I’ve been lazy, been out of town, had friends visiting and just generally not felt it. I’m taking the consequence of this and am re-adjusting my goals. If I beat 45mins I’ll be one happy bunny. I know I’ve got more speed in me than that, but until I take responsibility for training to unleash the potential speed in my legs I’m not going to pretend or assume that I’ll reach it. Not fun, but it’s how the body works.
What I have decided is that I’m on it from now on. With less than 5 weeks to go till race day, the next three weeks is the time to really get some quality training in if I’m hoping to see any benefits come race day. So, I don’t know about you but I’ll be going hard to meet my goals.
I can’t wait to see what the Youngers and the other mentors achieve on the day.