The Ryan Sandes recipe:
1. Set goal
- Keep it simple and realistic:
2. Visualise it
- See yourself running 15 or 20kms or whatever it may be. If your mind is there, then your body is halfway there as well.
3. Build a plan to achieve the goals
- Set some form of training structure
4. Set mini goals and be flexible
- If it’s not going well or you’ve suffered some setbacks, you may need to readjust.
5. Stay positive and then go out and achieve your goal
- There will be highs and lows in training and during the race, mentally prepare for those. For Wings For Life World run, you’re running for those who can’t, so that should keep you going.
“It’s important for any novice or intermediate runner to have a goal and some kind of training plan,” says Ryan Sandes. Sandes believes it helps to know when longer runs need to happen and if you aren’t over-training or under-training. Also that there are sufficient recovery periods in their training. Before you have a plan though, you need something to plan toward. Something like the Wings for Life World Run, more of an event than a race, ideal for novice and expert runners alike.
“It’s important to be flexible, however,” Sandes says. “Obviously many of these people work really intense jobs and have busy family lives, so if you miss the odd run here or there it’s not the end of the world,” he says. “But at least you’re not going to wake-up the Saturday before Wings For Life World Run and realise you’ve done only two runs.”
“Also just goal-setting helps you stay motivated,” says Ryan, explaining how he would set a whole bunch of mini-goals leading up to the main challenge. “Maybe it is to run one or two races or at least do one or two long runs before the event, so you know what to expect.”
According to Sandes, these mini goals translate to race day and will also help give you an idea of what targets to set yourself during the race. “If you can only run a 21-kays in two hours there’s no point in trying to set yourself a goal of 21-kay in an hour-and-a-half. So a few long runs before will help you set realistic goals,” he says.
If you set something way out and you don’t achieve it you’re just going to get bummed with yourself. So you can kind of have an A-case, B-case and C-case scenario, with A being best and C worst, so that you kind of stay a little bit flexible.
According to Sandes these goals also need to be flexible on the day however. “You might be feeling really good and running on adrenaline from everyone around you, or you might not be feeling all that well…”