I wanted to give you guys my tips for the things I did right during my last race. If anything, this is a little “notepad” section for me to reflect back on for my next one!! At any rate-they are a refresher for you!
-I hung on to someone in front of me for every hill. I run hills all the time, and I’m very efficient at them. I wouldn’t call myself a “speed demon” on hills by any means. So, since this course was full of killer hills, I kept telling myself to hang on to the person in front of me’s pace. This worked really well because once I got to the top of a hill..I took off again! Getting to the top of a hill makes one feel quite badass, don’t you think?!
pretty sure I was going UP the hill in this picture because I look very unhappy!
–Water stops…I have finally mastered them by not stopping: Bam!! a runner walked up to me after the race and said how she saw me ahead of her and she was jealous of my camelbak because she felt the water stops really slowed her down…I can’t stop and get my legs moving as quickly again, or if they do get moving that fast, it’s a lot of extra work which ends up sapping my energy in the end.
A lot of you ask what kind of camelbak I have-I don’t remember, I’m so sorry, but I do know it’s one of the women’s versions, and it holds 1.5 liters of water. For a race, I think I would prefer a smaller one..unless it blazingly hot out!
-I didn’t go out too fast. As soon as I realized how fast I was going, I pulled it back. You don’t want to over exert yourself right at the start!
-I didn’t obsess over my Garmin and ran by my own perceived effort. This is easier said than done but it seems to have worked for me. And plus, if you are staring at your watch all the time, that’s a whole lot of extra moving around!
-I ran even paced nearly the whole time, and my second half was a little faster than my first. This is important when you’re training, especially if you have a goal pace in mind that you want to hit! When you’re near finishing all of your runs, your legs are naturally tired. Try upping your end speed on your daily runs and it will begin to feel more natural to you to “finish faster.” I try to finish the second half of all of my long runs faster than I started them at. This gets your legs used to speeding up when all they really want to is sit down and take a nap!
-Taper/reduced mileage the week before. I hate taper. Hate, hate, hate it. But….If you want to hit a pr, taper is a must. I do a large three week taper prior to a full marathon, but for a half, I just reduce my miles for a week to ten days before. So my last 3 weeks looked like this: a 60 mile week, 53 mile week, and the week of the half (including it) I only ran 44. Since I typically hit about 60 miles a week, my legs felt more rested.
Tapering worked for this chick, she looks so happy because she got a PR!
–Rule of thumb is not to do too many “workouts” or, NO workouts at all the week of a race. I did one on Monday, took the next day off, and then any other run I ran that week was easy. Give your body adequate time to rest before a race!
If anyone is racing this weekend, GOOD LUCK! I am doing a 21 miler tomorrow..yikes! I’m actually pretty excited to run the route I designed though! Happy weekend!!
Question of the day:How did you hit a PR? anybody have a crazy story like you ran your pr and did back to back races two days in a row? (I read about a guy who did that last year, and I’m pretty sure he won the first race!)