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Running and Triathlon Coaching

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Race Nerves

nerves

Nervous about running a race?

Generally when put a lot of time into your training the more nervous a runner will get.  One big reason is failure. I have seen elite athletes drop out of a race to only quickly get in their car before any else saw them. There has been novice runners throwing up before a 5k due to the fear of not reaching their goal, even though their training indicates they easily will hit their goal.

Getting to the gun.

One strategy I have told my athletes is to block everything out until they get to hear sound of the starter pistol or horn. It should be just another day, be happy you get to run with a couple hundred people who have the same interest as you.  A wonderful quote I always remember: “The gun goes off and everything changes… the world changes… and nothing else really matters.” – Patti Sue Plummer.  This strategy is best when the person is relaxed and imagines the race is another long run, all the things you do to prepare for a long you should do for a race. Preparing for a long run vs for a race should be very close the same.  Sometimes change is bad, especially on race day and creating the same routine for a long run as you do for a race will help mentally. Great quote to leave off with great coaching advice is.

“I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” – Mike Fanelli

 

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Getting ready to run your race.

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”.

Milton Lyons

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