Blog

5 Tips to Get Back into Racing After Time Off

June 18, 2021

Chaski Coach Megan Flanagan holds Master’s in Public Health. She graduated Bachelor’s in Psychology & Nutrition. She is now a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and Yoga Instructor. Megan currently works full-time in healthcare. She loves podcasts, cooking, rock climbing, mountains, coffee, and dogs!

If you’re like many of us, you may have taken some time away from racing -- whether it be due to race cancellations, injury, or other life events. It can be difficult to know where to start when preparing to get back on the starting line. Remember these 5 tips as you rebuild your race engine and prepare to come back even stronger:

  1. Build a strong base. Getting back into the swing of racing starts with building your aerobic engine, meaning there is plenty of time before trying to push the pace or hit a PR. Start with a base of easy miles, focusing on getting back your fitness and building up to workouts slowly.
  2. Enlist the support of a coach (and/or team). Having a coach to guide you towards your goals can be extremely helpful, especially when it comes to providing an objective lense on training, racing, and timelines. You might also consider enlisting the support of a local club and/or team for additional support to help with accountability along the way.
  3. Practice “race simulation.” If you’ve been off the start line for a while, it’s worth getting on the course (or similar terrain) or simulating a race with friends to remember what competition feels like. Whether this means setting up a backyard obstacle course with your friends or matching your long run up with the vert you’ll be climbing, aim to simulate race-day conditions to get the feeling of racing again.
  4. Release expectations. After several months to even a year (or beyond) without racing, know that you won’t necessarily come back to the first race feeling quite the same. Drop the comparison -- instead of focusing on your former self or comparing to someone else, focus on bringing your best today.
  5. Know that it’s a long game. At the end of the day, racing is about having fun, enjoying the process, and improving over the long run (no pun intended). Remember that success doesn’t come overnight, and that big wins are built over time. Commit to continuous improvement, and know that your best day is yet to come.

Looking for a coach and community to help support your goals as you get back into racing? Join the Chaski Endurance Community.

— Megan Flanagan

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