Beginners and Beyond

12

If races did not exist, would you still push yourself with hard training runs? (Read 313 times)


Sub1:40orBust

    This question was part of a thread on Letsrun.com and I found it interesting.

     

    My half marathon PR is a number that is pretty important to me ... maybe silly, but it is. Without the prospect of a future race to break that PR I'm not sure how hard I would push myself in training. It might be more relaxing as I could leave the watch at home and just run for the hell of it, but I doubt I would see much improvement in my pace or distance without that goal race on the calendar.

     

    Thoughts?


    Muddling through

      If races didn't exist, runners would invent them. If I choose not to race, that's a different story.

      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

      happylily


        Yes, I'd still push with time trials and I'd keep track of how fast I can run a particular distance and how I am improving. But that's because I know about training. If I had started to run on my own, without the running forums, and had never heard of training plans and races, then, maybe I'd only run for distance. I guess I used to think that speed was for Olympian Gods only. Distance was more for the mortals, like myself.

        PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

        3 years, 13 marathons, 13 BQs     

        Nevrgivup


          If races didn't exist, runners would invent them. If I choose not to race, that's a different story.

           This^. There is so much more to running than racing. You can choose to run and never race, or run a race everyday if you want. That's the beauty of the sport. 

          Running is my mental-Ctrl-Alt-Del. 

          catty


          Goddess of the Cuisine

            I'd still feel like running fast every now and again, but I wouldn't have as much drive not training for a race.

             

            Interestingly enough, when I play tennis I usually don't hesitate to serve hard or stroke forcefully, and that's just during a casual game.


            delicate flower

              Sure I would.  I've never entered a bike race (well, not a road bike race, anyway) but I still try to push to see how fast I can go.  It's fun to see that avg MPH creep up as the summer gets later.  Very rarely do I get on the bike and not think "Let's see how fast I can go."

               

              Speaking of biking and running, it wasn't until I started running and reading up on training that I realized the same basic principles can be applied to bike rides.  Different rides with different purposes:  Hammer like hell for 20 miles, go nice and easy for 80 miles, go on a tough hilly 50 mile ride, and when a cycling event comes up, pull it all together and hammer like hell for 100 miles.  I didn't really understand any of that until I became a runner.  I also never read up on training for cycling though. 

              roboknee.


              Sub1:40orBust

                I'm sure I would continue to strive to improve, but I believe my improvement would be limited.

                 

                My HM goal time used to be sub 2, then sub 1:50, and now it is sub 1:40. Having a certified course, a race clock, Athlinks etc, has helped to drive me forward to that goal. If I just used my Garmin to run 13.1 miles on local roads, I would probably have settled for that sub 2 and just made incremental improvements over time. I am looking forward to 2013 and a fall half marathon PR attempt. That goal race is what is making me put in the hard work 10 months out.


                Old , Ugly and slow

                  I have not run a race since 2007. I would like to improve in 2013

                  and get faster but I have no plans to race in 2013.

                  pr's 5k 20.08, 5 mile 31:20, 10k  41.19  all done in the 80's

                   

                  2014goals   1300  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes

                  Linda6897


                  Linda

                    There is no way that I would push myself to be faster without racing.  I would run all of my runs at an easy pace or slower.  When I first started running, I really enjoyed tempo runs, intervals, etc.  Now, I enjoy my long, slow runs the best.  If I feel the way I feel now, if I stop racing, I will stop doing speed work.

                    2014 Goal:  Just Run!

                     

                    Over 40 PR's

                    Half - 1:38:52, 5K - 21:31

                     

                    xor


                      I suppose it is an interesting academic exercise, but it seems kind of empty because I suspect there will never be a time where races do not exist.  And I don't mean "well, the calendar is loaded".  What I mean is precisely the underlying theme here... people like to push themselves, people like to see how they can do.  Either against the clock or against each other.  So if there was some place/time that had no races, I guarantee that someone would... wait for it... put together a race.

                       

                      Even free ones.

                       

                      So, to the subject line... "if races did not exist"... they always will and if they didn't, they would spontaneously invent themselves.

                       

                      runshortii2008


                        Well if all racing didn't exist I probably never would've became a runner because xc and track wouldn't exist and that was how I started. I'd still run. Would I push myself as much? Probably not.

                           

                           

                          So, to the subject line... "if races did not exist"... they always will and if they didn't, they would spontaneously invent themselves.

                           I totally agree with this. Kids race all the time. They dont need to have numbers and chips and water stations to be races. I heard of two high school aged kids racing in a walmart parking lot the other day just to see who was faster.

                           

                          People do push themselves if they want to get better. I was taught to praise people on effort not on the results. This helps them to want to keep pushing harded.

                          ”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

                          “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

                           

                          Tomas


                          Sub1:40orBust

                            I guess I'm thinking about this a bit differently.

                             

                            I'm 45, very non-elite runner, dad of 4, and I have no desire to race my neighbors down the street or across town. If I did not have an organized race to train for, I doubt I would drive myself to reach my sub 1:40 goal.

                             

                            Yes, I could challenge someone on the Rail Trail to race me to the next mile marker, but that is not something I would ever consider doing. It is the silly notion of a PR that is posted on Athlinks and serves as a permanent record of my achievement that drives me to train hard. Without that concept to shoot for, I believe I would run for the pure enjoyment of running. Perhaps I am just a shallow man ...

                            LRB


                            Dreamer

                              I guess I'm thinking about this a bit differently.

                               

                              I'm 45, very non-elite runner, dad of 4, and I have no desire to race my neighbors down the street or across town. If I did not have an organized race to train for, I doubt I would drive myself to reach my sub 1:40 goal.

                               

                              Yes, I could challenge someone on the Rail Trail to race me to the next mile marker, but that is not something I would ever consider doing. It is the silly notion of a PR that is posted on Athlinks and serves as a permanent record of my achievement that drives me to train hard. Without that concept to shoot for, I believe I would run for the pure enjoyment of running. Perhaps I am just a shallow man ...

                              Not shallow just different, which is perfectly fine.

                               

                              It is kind of like the chicken and the egg dilemma: sure, I would run for the enjoyment if there were no race, but I became a runner to in fact, race.  So if there was never a race to sign up for, I am not so sure I would be running. 

                               

                              Confused?  Good!

                               

                              I was perfectly content doing all of the active things I was doing for all of the years I was doing them.  Racing however, kicked that shit up a notch.

                               

                              Yes, I would push myself during training runs if there were no races because we do the same thing in all aspects of fitness, be it trying to set a new record lifting weights, time on the elliptical, distance on a bike, or blocks walking through he neighborhood. 

                               

                              We are a competitive species by nature and in that vein, would always find a way to top what we have done in the past be it organized, or not.

                              "Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."

                              Hipfan


                              Proud Calgarian

                                I need racing - I can't go out and do "time trials", I need someone with a watch, someone to beat, some time to push. What can I say, I'm a competitive jerk!

                                2014 Goals and PRs:

                                5k - 17:59 (18:17);  10k - 37:00 (37:54);   HM - 1:21:59 (1:24:21);   FM - whatever (3:05:46)

                                12