Friday, February 5, 2016

Don't over-think your race

Folks like me are rarely in the position to take podium spots. Sure, winning is a lofty goal but honestly, most of us just want to feel like we did our best and want to cross that finish line with our head held high.

I know my limits as a mid-packer and (A) Don't have the time to obsess over race details and (B) Want to race/run consistently based on how I've trained regardless of the course.

Now you might say, "Trev, that's BS dude. Being prepared and planning your race is super-important. You can't get through a race without some planning!"

I would agree with you that some planning is important, but there are things you just shouldn't obsess about. Let's chat about some of them.

If you have to obsess about a few things...

  • Oh, the places you'll go! There's nothing worse than missing the start of the race or being stranded once you've finished. I'll take a DNF any day over a DNS (did not start). If you couldn't get to the start line because of poor planning, that's just plain embarrassing! Make sure you are clear on the transportation options to and from the race. Also make sure your crew is clear on where they can or can't park on the course. Crew violations can often result in runner disqualification!
  • Aid stations can mean the difference between finishing or taking up residence in the medical tent. If you don't have a spreadsheet that captures the aid stations, mileage and crew/drop bag availability...THEN YOU SHOULD! If the RD has shared elevation information between aid stations, this can also help you determine the time it will take you to get to-and-from each location. Carefully planning your gear, nutrition and hydration strategies around aid stations is super-important and well worth the time to figure out.

What NOT to lose sleep over...

  • You're not Al Roker, so stop checking the forecast every 15 minutes. If there is rain in the forecast...take rain gear. If it's going to be hot, bring your pack or extra bottles. If you're not limited by space or weight, put things in your drop bag that will accommodate both hot and cold weather.
  • Some would say that the distances provided in ultra-marathons are 'guidelines', not actual numbers. The likelihood that your Garmin is going to be the exact distance provided by the RD is super-low. Remember, unless you're off course just keep going until you run into the aid station. Having a cow that the distance wasn't exact isn't going to get you to the finish any faster.
I'm personally heading into a busy couple (race) months...Black Canyon 100k (WS100 qualifier), the Hom 100 (charity run) and Old Pueblo 50 all within 5 weeks of each other. While I wrote this as a reminder for myself it's also good to keep in mind as you train/think about YOUR upcoming races as well.

Don't get lost in the minutia of planning your race. Plan well enough to get there, have fun and finish...

Oh, and stay safe out there!

No comments:

Post a Comment