Practice the Way You Race
Being a running coach I am often asked what a runner should do during the few days before a big race. I have found that runners who change their routine before a race often have some kind of bad experience or issue, especially when something new is added. Take a runner, for example, who read in Runner’s World magazine that carb loading by means of a huge pasta dinner the night before a race will optimize performance. However, said runner does not usually eat pasta and now, on race day morning, is having stomach issues and feeling heavy and “off” – no bueno. Other examples include but are not limited to sampling a new flavor of Gu, wearing a new outfit – or worse, new shoes – or trying out the new hydration belt your husband got you as an early Christmas present the night before the Jingle Bell half marathon. So now, I find myself telling my runners to utilize their weekly long runs as a means to practice their pre-race routine. My high school coach Bruce Nelson said it best, “practice the way you race, race the way you practice”.