Racing season has begun!
Looking at the local calendar, there is almost a race every weekend that makes for a confusion of choices for some. I know of friends who have raced, continuously, for weeks without much chance for their bodies to fully recover. Recovery is a crucial part of continued high performance, and if you wish to attain your sporting goals you will need to pick your races cleverly and clearly. Bludgeoning your body with mind-over-matter strategies may inch you towards your goals, yet they may wear you down into a sorry state, eventually.
Take a few minutes to list down races that interest you in the next nine months. Identify existing races that you enjoy, and factor in new ones that interest or intrigue you. You could consider off-the-beaten-track races that challenge other aspects of your fitness. If you are a pure runner, you may consider a biathlon, or an off-road race. If you are a swimmer, aim for a long-distance, open-water challenge (Kapas-Marang Swim, Malaysia).
If your budget allows, select an international race or a popular race within the region. If you are a marathoner, you could apply and qualify for the Big Five Marathon (Berlin, London, New York, Boston). If you are a triathlete, you could aim for an Ironman triathlon in Australia or New Zealand (IMWA, IMNZ). There are a significant number of inexpensive entry-level and demanding triathlons in Malaysia hosted regularly in Malaysia.
Once you have selected your races, prioritise them into A-races (key races) and new races. Lock these in onto your training journal or blog, and begin to visualize how you would train for each one. Focus on the results that you would like to attain: completion, personal best (PB) time, or pre-race trial. Work with the experts (if you need guidance), and stick to a plan of action. Each race is different, and a coach may help you to integrate your goals around your lifestyle. That way, you can train and race with a purpose, and stay motivated and passionate without risking fatigue and boredom. Race to place!