Summer Assignment #1 - My Perfect Race

There are a number of written assignments I will ask of my runners this summer, but one of them is to formulate the perfect race.  I prefer to do this sort of task in the off-season, where pressure to perform is minimal, promoting clarity and objectivity in their thinking.  I don't have a grading rubric for this, and I encourage them to think for themselves on this particular task.  After all, most of the kids that I train have parents who are runners.  Asking parents for assistance on this assignment could then lead to their parent's perfect race, rather than their own. 

This strategy is one way to cultivate autonomy in within their running, as well as forward thinking in their training.  Race plans need practice.  Therefore, in addition to the basic essentials of training: warm-ups, drills, intervals, cool-downs, etcetera, we openly discuss our race plans.  Of course, there will be fine tuning as they progress, but a written race plan is a great place to begin documenting intentions, then assessing what works, and what does not work.  It's a form of Goal Setting.  Creating race plans in written form provides greater focus, puts out any potential fires (decreasing anxiety), helps refocus if needed, and cultivates a smooth transition to Flow, which is a heightened state of the body and the mind harmoniously working in a moment when potential and ability meet optimal performance conditions.

Feel free to use the example provided by Kiley, who crafted an incredible race plan, or modify it to create your own.  It's pretty clear that when Kiley created this race plan, she was not attempting to outthink the room, but instead, she stayed within herself and created something that works for her in its simplest form.