Fall is here, leaves are coming down if you can hear outside through the microphone, the shotgun mic I’ve got on my camera. There’s a leaf blower going on somewhere. We are all dealing with these kinds of typical fall issues right now. But that means there is the time now to get ready for the next race season. And I have one tip in particular I want to give you of how to get you really, really ready for your next race season.
Now today’s video is not going to be super long, like some of the other videos I do that go 10, 12, 15 minutes. But that’s okay. If you want to stick around for more videos, please subscribe. Stick around with me, check out more videos on running every Tuesday and Thursday because I’m Jesse Funk. This is a show I call Runner’s High and we talked about everything running. Now, let’s get to that point. My number one tip for you kind of comes in two parts, it depends on what’s available to you. And that is, go cross country. Go cross country. And that means find an off-road race. Get on the trails, something.
Why? Why am I suggesting this? Now, I could be, if I can show this to you, I could be suggesting you need to look cool like me. See this 15 years ago me racing cross country in high school. Unfortunately, I don’t look terribly cool. But that’s fine, no big deal.
What I’m suggesting this for is a mental break. Because we work so hard all year trying to get ready for race season. And for many of us that comes at the summer, the hottest part of the year, there’s tons and tons of road races, there’s some road races in the fall. I think as I’m filming this, the Chicago Marathon was last week. So, big races happen. And then as we go further in the fall, and in the winter, things taper off. There’s not as many things going on.
Now, the reason I suggest that cross country thing, as I mentioned, is a mental break. When we spend all of our time doing the same thing over and over and over, there’s kind of this mental fatigue that builds up. We’ve been doing the same run over and over and over and it’s not fun anymore. And the thing we forget to do is to add variation into our training, into our lives sometimes to spice things up.
Novelty and that is doing something new, something novel is how we slow down time, slow down the passage of time, how we make memories, how we remember things, how things seem more important, or we make our lives feel better because we’re noticing things. It’s not just the same thing day in and day out. And cross country is one great way to do that while you’re still getting plenty of run fitness.
Now, you may not have any off-road races near you, if you do join one. I don’t care if you’ve never done one before, go do it. It’s different, it’s fun and the thing is, you don’t get to pace it like you would a road race. Because the terrains vary, there’s turns and sometimes they don’t mark the course properly as in the case of the Beer & Bagel run here with the medal sitting behind me where the mile marker was really like a mile and a quarter. And the same thing with the two miles like another mile and a quarter. You just go and run, enjoy it, find some trails, enjoy it.
Get something different going on. Inject that into your running routine. That will help you be more ready for next race season. Because you’ll be more fresh to come back to the road, back to the track, back to those fast scenarios when you spend your time with your mind engaging in something new, nature, trails, a different kind of racing. All of those things play a factor when we do the same thing in and out for 20-some-odd years in my case.
So, it’s important that you do something different. And my suggestion to you, find a cross country race. So, what do you like to do in the fall? Hopefully running related. Leave them down in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.