In this podcast episode we speak with mindset expert John Assaraf -author of the book ‘Innercise -The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power’. Plus we try to answer the question, “Will races come back in 2021?”
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Interview with John Assaraf
John Assaraf is a leading expert on mindset and behavior who specialized in helping people upgrade their mental and emotional skills so they can achieve their biggest goals and dreams. He has built five multimillion dollar companies and is the author of Innercise -The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power.
John explains the difference between our rational goal-oriented “Einstein Brain” and our survival/ emotionally-driven “Frankenstein Brain.” Since long distancing running is mentally taxing it’s important to know how to “calm the circuits” and tap into deeper level of motivation. He also asks the question, “Are you interested or committed?”
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Will In-Person Races Return in 2021?
If you’ve been tuning into news in the running world you’ve probably seen announcements that most large marathons won’t be taking place in the spring of 2021.
- Tokyo is pushed back until after the Olympic Games.
- The London Marathon has been pushed back into October and the Boston Marathon is delayed until September.
- Big Sur Marathon is cancelled.
- Rock & Roll San Francisco is cancelled.
- R&R Nashville is moved to April 2021, R&R Liverpool to May 2021, R&R San Diego and R&R Seattle to June 2021, R&R Dublin to August 2021, R&R Virginia Beach to Sept 2021, and R&R San Jose is moved to Oct 2021.
- Other races in the Rock & Roll Series including New Orleans, Montreal, Phoenix, Clearwater FL, Philly, Chicago, Atlantic City, San Francisco, and Denver are all cancelled until 2022.
- All their Mexico races are indefinitely postponed.
Given the precedent set by these large races it seems likely that larger and mid-sized events will not take place through at least the spring or summer of 2021 unless a COVID vaccine is widely available and effective. I’d classify a large race as one having 10,000+ participants. A medium sized event would probably be one that had anywhere from 1-9 thousand runners, and a small race would be anything less than that. Most trail races are going to be on the small to very small size given the limits of most trails.
The good news is that smaller races have been very innovative and will probably be returning in greater numbers in 2021. We’ve seen social distancing protocols like masking at start/finish areas, staggered start times, having the course open for more time, and changes to aid station sanitation.
- The Richmond Marathon had a certified course open for a period of days in November.
- The Revel races have done more of a boutique type race where they stagger a capped number of runners over a 3 day period.
- The Space Coast Marathon in Florida had staggered start times and offered two different courses to reduce the flow of runners. They also implemented safety measures at the start/finish areas as well as at the aid stations.
They’ve started coming back in FL with changes. Most starts are what they now call “rolling starts”. As soon as you show up within a given time frame you just take off. If too many people show up at once you have to line up two at a time and six feet apart and they let you go at 5-10 second intervals. You must show up wearing a mask that you can remove once you’ve started but you have to wear it again after crossing the finish. The changes took a bit getting used to but I’m just grateful they are having them again!
While we definitely miss doing large in-person races this may be a good time to embrace smaller more local races. And if you’ve ever considered getting into trail running this may be the perfect opportunity too. So much of 2020 involved the disappointment of cancelled events and races. And unfortunately the start of 2021 isn’t going to magically usher in a complete change to the restrictions that have been put in place this year.
But I think we’ll go into this next year with more realistic expectations and hopefully more resilience. In the meantime we can keep our training going strong. And you can sign up for smaller races if that’s something that you feel comfortable doing. And there are always lots of fun virtual races and challenges.