It is always interesting to me that on race day we are able to pull out paces that we wouldn’t normally be able to do in training. Sure there are races where things just don’t go our way and there are factors that take us away from our goals BUT there are a lot of things that help us to preform our very best at our races.
Here are some of the factors that I find help me to run faster and endure longer during a race compared to my training days.
***Course support. Having water/gatorade/gus accessible every mile or so helps me to run so much faster compared to my training runs when I drink less and have to stop at drinking fountains or for a water bottle.
***We actually pay attention to getting enough sleep leading up to our races. Normally I think we put sleep last on our priority list and that absolutely affects our training runs. We show up on race day with plenty of zzzzzzz’s. PS remember it is the night before the night before the race that really matters so don’t worry if you have a bad night of sleep the night before the race. IE my marathon is on a Monday so Saturday night I will be taking my sleep seriously and wearing earplugs and an eye mask. I’ll be out for a solid 8.6 hours.
***The awesome spectators cheering you along. When do we get that amazing pump-you-up factor during our training runs? Usually never (but if you do, that is pretty awesome and I want to go running with you). I don’t know about you but all of the signs, cheering and people yelling your name (I put my name on my shirt for the NYCM and it was incredible to have so many people saying my name) make my legs move a lot faster than they do on my training runs. Let the crowds fuel you!
***Your glycogen levels are topped off and ready to go. Just think of yourself as a car. We run so much better when our tanks are topped off with gas (aka glycogen). Things just run so much more smoothly and faster. BUT it is important to keep that tank filled with gas as you are going along to avoid hitting that wall too hard… start fueling early on. I usually take my first gu at mile 7.
***Your muscles are finally recovered and pumped to do the work. During training cycles you are doing your long runs and speed workouts on tired legs. Not for the race (as long as you taper properly). Having fresh legs works miracles for the time on the clock.
***You save all the best for race day and the best makes you run faster. You are wearing your favorite outfit and shoes. Your playlist is full of the best of the best which scientifically (or in my mind) makes you cruise.
***You are surrounded by 100s or even 1000s of other runners. Just knowing the people around me are experiencing the same feelings of fatigue/exhaustion as me makes it easier for me to keep pushing myself.
***Adrenaline. This can either make or break you so be careful! I feel so much more adrenaline at a race vs a normal training run. Don’t go out too fast because you are pumped up with adrenaline but make sure to spread that adrenaline out evenly along the course to ensure that you don’t die at the end.
***If you are competitive by nature then you most definitely will be running faster than you do during any of your training runs because heaven forbid someone pass you:) I struggle with being competitive… I’d advise you to never play Monopoly with me.
You’ve got a lot of potential! Remember that on race day and let these things help you to uncover all of that potential!
Because why not wear headphones around the house without them being connected to anything?
Okay, so my dinner doesn’t look very appetizing but it is a new easy, favorite meal of mine. Salmon topped with Trader Joe’s pesto. Holy cow. It was perfection.
My mom, Brooke and I went and saw McFarland USA last night and it was beyond incredible. I cannot recommend it enough. Such an incredible story and it made me love running even more. It also brought back some fun teaching/cross-country coaching memories for me:)
Going off of candy and ice cream at the same time would be insanity. In case you are wondering how Brooke lasted in a non-cartoon movie… she actually watched the first half (while snacking on things) and then played games on my phone and walked up and down the aisle for the second half. We were in the very back and there was only one other person in the entire theater sitting in the front. It worked out quite nicely.
It was a gorgeous night.
I plan to listen to music for about half of the race (on hills I especially need some good music to keep my legs moving) and so this playlist is about 90 minutes.
These are my current power songs and I can’t wait to rock out to them next Monday!
PS just like the rest of my life, my song selections are extremely random but I love each song either for their fast beat, their lyrics or a nice combination of both.
What percentage of the time do you listen to music during a race?
What factors help you to run faster/endure longer at races compared to your training runs?
What songs are you loving to listen to these days while you run?
Do you feel like you are a competitive person?