Wood's Words - Getting Back into the Swing of Things
This last cross country season was unlike any other before it. Races were fundamentally different and it was a more uncertain season. Despite its numerous ups and downs, on the whole, the season was still a successful one. We still raced, which was never a guarantee, and that's all we could have asked for. For better or worse, it came to an end. Now we must make the difficult but necessary transition to track season. Some people have ended their cross seasons on a bad note and recovering from that will be a tough journey. Especially since winter training is incredibly taxing. Keeping the positive mindset that is so important for growth becomes harder than ever as the temperature drops. Staying inside in our nice warm beds would be much, much easier. On the other hand, the people ended their cross country seasons on a good note similarly have a tough act to follow. Maintaining that success and even trying to grow beyond it is a difficult journey with no simple solution.
While looking forward to the upcoming season is important, the immediate time after cross ends is time for rest. The best way to regroup and reset after an exhausting, uncertain season is to take a little time off. Whether it's a break void of running or one with reduced mileage, a little break without the typical workouts of the season is of the utmost importance when it comes to recovering. Now that even the breaks are over, it's time for the most difficult part of the winter: getting back into the swing of things.
Personally, I am a very goal-oriented person. Before I start any major project such as track season, I take time to evaluate my successes in the previous season while also looking at improvements. Before I'm signed up for any races, I make a goal time for every event. This is not unique in any way. Nearly every runner has a goal time in mind when they step onto the track. Through goals, we can form a clear idea of what we need to do in our races and that provides motivation. Forming new goals for a new season also helps to differentiate between seasons that tend to blend together. It makes each track season unique and allows it to stand out in importance. Each season can now feel fresh truly become a new start.
Track season is on the horizon and the training is kicking back into gear. For many, this is a rude wake-up call. For others, this is the chance they've been waiting for. No matter what state you're in as we move towards track season, internalize what matters most: keeping positive. Only through a positive mindset can you truly grow in the ways you need to. Workouts are important of course, but they can only do so much. By investing and believing in the work you're doing, you can grow in ways you never thought possible. So, in another season plagued by uncertainty and doubt, hold nothing back. We don't know how many races we'll have, so race each one like it's your last. Keep positive in the face of doubt and show your competitors what you're made of.