Thank you to Thomas Quirke for this weeks Guest Post. Here Thomas talks about the importance of family and friends when planning your own challenge or event.
Preparation for your challenge
So you have taken that leap! That glorious step. You have hit enter on the screen or signed on the dotted line at work for that charity event.
Each race I enter is another challenge, no matter what it is and no matter how far it is. That’s it period. A challenge or a challenge leading in to a challenge. (That was even confusing for me!)
The big step is the decision to enter, it could be a 10 mile walk, a 5k fun run up to an Ironman. It is a test of ones ability, to push your mind, body and most importantly have fun with fellow like minded people.
The one preparation that some people miss out on is actually the most important. Race preparation.
The gym membership is signed, personal trainer is booked. The diet is sorted and your calendar is slowly filled with training days, hours and miles needed to complete a month. The kit you have to buy if any, the other expenses of travel and if needs be accommodation.
This is the obvious race preparation. BUT how many place family and friends in to this category? It can be an oversight. Yes they will be aware you are doing a challenge, something that is unique to you. But have you told them how it can affect them just as much you? For the benefit of you having the best race/challenge possible family and friends are one of the top priority.
I would say 90% of my races could not happen without the support of them.
So when you sit down with that list of race planning, put aside a bit for them.
Personally with the races I train for I can get very selfish, it can become an obsession if I go that far. Training/racing/kit comes first and everything else is an after thought.
I think when I started out this life that this was never a thought. My first big race was a Half Ironman in Mallorca.
If you read my blog you will get an idea how big that challenge was for me. The one thing that hit me how much friends and family mean to me and really want to support me was when my mum, sister and her family made it out as a surprise and found a sweaty son/brother in the suffering of the run loop. Huge emotion hit me when I saw them.
My friends were glued to the online tracker updating social media sights. I got thinking they want to support me and are, but I never factored them in to my year.
So I decided for Ironman to let them know what it was I was doing, how far the race is. The logistics of it was and what I have to do to get to the finish line. I warned them that I may not be as social as I would like, that a drink for me would be water or protein shake and my expenditure would be more towards racing than fun. This helped, it meant they understood the challenge set, and what I had to do to get it done.
But also meant they were part of the process, I linked in training sessions with friends, used visits to friends houses as a training ride etc. I even somehow tricked friends in to racing a half ironman with me. Annoyingly some beat me!!
It all meant we were in it together. This year I am doing one of the hardest challenges for me. A 135 mile coastal run in wales. I have rented a villa out for this and have invited family and friends over to have a weekend away.
What you will find when you start out this journey, is that some close friends/family will not fully understand what it involves, or even how much it means to you. But they will want to support you. Will be proud of you and be inspired by your success.
When you factor them in to the preparation, explain to them everything it takes to get where you want to be and how they can help. It makes those sessions easier, they understand it and will want you to succeed. Be the best you, you can possibly be, and I hope to see you at the finish line soon.
You can follow Thomas on Twitter and read more of his posts on his own website
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