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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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Aqua jogging for runners!

There isn’t a lot of videos online about aqua jogging, so I decided to make my own. It is very simple by running in the water just like you would be running on the road. Just like you need to have good running form on land, you should also have it in the water while you are aqua jogging.

Here are some benefits on aqua jogging that will give a edge on other athletes who don’t:

-Impact free. This is great if someone is injured and looking for low impact cardio workout.

-Make your own workouts. Whatever you do on land you can do in the water. (Greg did 10 min warm up, 1min easy/4 min hard X 5)

-Resistance training. Work certain muscles that you don’t get to do while running on land.

-Cross training. This a great core workout by making yourself run straight up.

-Recovery. By promoting my blood flow, this will speed up the recovery process by just jogging easy in the water.

Athlete:Greg Allen

Filmed: Milton Lyons

 

Overthinking your Race.

Yesterday my wife completed her first marathon, but before the race she started doubting herself when she already put in the right training. This typical for anyone who is nervous about their first marathon and I have seen it affect runner’s performance negatively. I was glad to be there for her. I didn’t let her think about what could happen and start overthinking about running a marathon. I let her know what she needed to do, she found a pace group to run with and she reach her goal with a smile with her face.

Overthinking is a mental aspect of competition that can negatively affect the competitor’s performance. In regards to running, overthinking is simply as its name implies – the runner starts thinking too much about race related activities. This relatively common lapse in mental toughness can lead to worrying, self-doubt and ultimately a poor race performance. I see overthinking happen the most when runners have a lack of confidence in their training which, in turn, leads to worry that conveniently sets in on race day morning. The best way to counteract this mental deficit is to run smart and relaxed, believe in yourself and trust your training program. As a last resort, if there has been a lack of training, then the race can become a training run where random volunteers give you water along the way and you get a medal at the end! Mentally, it is important to remember why you run…don’t sweat over a race too much. Of course, like most difficult and mentally trying activities, it is easier said than done 😉

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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