7 Racing Strategies for a Great Run: Fitness Friday

Most runners run races without giving much thought except about their entry fees, t-shirt and some fun. Running expert and 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, Dr. Jason Karp, says “When you develop and execute your race plan, you’ll achieve your potential and run better races.” He suggests these 7 racing strategies to improve yourself when it comes to running a race.

Strategy 1: Own the Process

Racing isn’t something that just happens. Know when to hold back and when to take control of certain moments in the race. Become an integral part of the racing process and take responsibility for your thoughts and actions, before, during, and after the race.

Strategy 2: Visualize your race before it happens. 

Visualizing your race before you run it allows you to experience it beforehand, making the experience familiar and thus making you less nervous.  If the experience is familiar, you will feel more comfortable.  Practice visualizing your race each day for a few days before it, seeing the whole experience. Then, when it’s time for your race, you will have already run it. 

Strategy 3: Know what pace you can sustain in the race. 

Learn from your workouts and know going into the race what pace you can expect to sustain.

Strategy 4: Have specific, meaningful goals in mind for your race.  

By having specific goals for your races, it allows you to get away from thinking about the race as a whole, which can be overwhelming.  It also allows for something positive to be taken from each race, even if the overall outcome is disappointing.  Have one or two goals for each race that are within your control.

Strategy 5: Control your nerves at the starting line. 

Every runner gets nervous before a race.  That’s perfectly normal.  The important thing is to not let your nervousness get the better of you and prevent you from running a winning race. 

Strategy 6: Keep changing the pace. 

While the best way to run your fastest possible time in a race is to run as even splits as possible, sometimes whom you beat and the place in which you finish matters more than the time on the clock.  In those races, a great winning racing strategy is to keep changing the pace on your opponent, in effect turning the race into a very hard fartlek.

Strategy 7: Become your own hero.

There is a moment in every race when it starts to feel uncomfortable.  While it’s a natural human tendency to back off from physical discomfort for self-preservation, one of the things that makes runners unique is their penchant for seeking it out.  It is in that moment in the race that you learn about yourself and what you are willing to do to meet your goal.  You want to walk away from your race feeling like you gave it everything you had.  You want to be proud of yourself.  Racing gives you the opportunity to become someone better than you currently are.

Friday Fitness: Freshwater Land Trust and Darter Dash 5K and Fun Run

When my friend, Caroline, told me last year about the “Freshwater Land Trust Darter Dash” 5K race, I was so excited about it. Not because of outdoor beauty, but because of its cause: The Freshwater Land Trust. The Freshwater Land Trust is non-profit organization that acquires, conserves and connects open spaces that are critical for the protection of rivers and streams and that provide recreational opportunities for the community. Its mission is the acquisition and stewardship of lands that enhance water quality and preserve open space. It is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, which recognizes it as meeting standards of excellence, upholding the public’s trust and ensuring that conservation efforts are permanent.

The 5K course takes runners along a course unlike any other in Jefferson County and will begin and end at Turkey Creek Falls. The race course is a paved roadway that follows the beautiful creek, offering extraordinary views and subtle elevation changes that allow for a challenging, yet fun course. This beautiful preserve contains some of the most biologically diverse habitats in this region of Alabama. The waters of Turkey Creek are home to three endangered species of fish: the Vermilion Darter (Etheostoma chermocki), the Watercress Darter (Etheostoma nuchale), and the Rush Darter (Etheostoma phytophilum). The Vermilion Darter occurs only in Turkey Creek and nowhere else in the world.

The 5K race will start at 8:30 a.m. and the 1 Mile Fun Run will begin at 9:30 a.m. Day-of-race registration will be at 7:00 a.m. The first one hundred participants will receive a tech t-shirt. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the Land Trust’s efforts in protecting local lands and preserving the places that matter. For more information and to register, please go to www.freshwaterlandtrust.org.

I’ll be there. Will you?

WHAT: 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run Race Benefitting the Freshwater Land Trust WHERE: Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, Pinson, Alabama
WHEN: Saturday, October 13, 2012
START TIME: 8:30 a.m. – 5K   9:30 a.m. – Fun Run

 

Fitness Friday: 17 Marathon Running Motivation Tips

Hannah Pate is a 5th grade teacher and spin instructor in Birmingham, Alabama. She is currently training for her first Ironman triathlon. She is a huge fan of any type of exercise, but she says, “I really like to mix things up and try new things, and I have a strong passion for swimming, biking, running and yoga.” She recently sent the following advice to a friend the week before her first marathon. This advice is great for any of you training for your first race, marathon or workout event. Thank you Hannah!

1. This is YOUR week!

2. Rest!

3. Recover!

4. Get pumped!

5. Go in with the right attitude.

6. Go into it with a plan… a goal without a plan is merely a wish.

7. Be ready to tackle some serious mental hurdles.

8. You will dominate!  You have worked so hard. You have put in the training time. Your body can handle it. Your body is ready for it.
Get your mind ready.

9. Prepare to cross a threshold that you have never ever crossed.

10. Be prepared to coach yourself through it. Write down some mantras to say to yourself when you are at a low point. It will help.

11. Think of the people that are praying for you; the people that want to see you succeed.

12. Think about the people that helped you get to this point.

13. Think about all of the effort that you have put in and the time that you have committed getting you there.

14. Think about how strong you are and how this is JUST A DROP IN THE BUCKET.

15. Have no regrets.

16.Think about how you will feel at the finish line.  Think about how proud you will be of yourself.  It’s A HUGE accomplishment, and you will feel like a million bucks when it’s over.

17. No one ever finishes a marathon easily.  It’s hard for everyone– from novices to elites.  You will be a stronger person when it’s over.  You are about to complete your first marathon!

10 Ways to Keep Up Your Workout Routine

People always ask me, “How do you keep up with your workout routine?” It got me thinking…How do I? Here’s some of my favorite pointers.

1. Get up early-If you do it first thing in the morning, you will get it done. I do most of my workouts early during the week, and I always feel great afterwards. My friend, Caroline, once said, “If I get nothing else accomplished all day, at least I know I got my run in.”

2. Find a friend-I never want to let my friends down. Do you? Whether it’s a running partner or weight training partner, if you hold each other accountable, you’ll stick to it.

3. Pay it Forward-If you pay for it in advance, you will be more likely to keep it up. Invest in a trainer, join a gym or yoga studio or buy a DVD. When you put money down, you will want to make the most of it.

4. Log it. Whether you keep a fitness log, use an app or tweet it, keep a journal of your workouts on a daily basis. If you write it down, you’re more likely to keep it going when you have a visual to look back on. My favorite log apps are RunKeeper Pro and Livestrong Calorie Tracker

5. Get New Gear-Buy a new pair of running shoes, cycling shoes, shorts, workout pants, sports watch or anything relating to your sport. Dressing for success (even in sports) can only boost your workouts with confidence and make you feel good at the same time.

6. Treat Yourself-Start by setting goals. Then, when you achieve them, buy something new for yourself, treat yourself to a massage or spa appointment, or have a great splurge dinner or dessert.

7. New Tunes-Getting new music always keeps workouts fresh, new and interesting (I need to do a better job of this).

8. Eat & Drink Healthy-When you eat healthy on a regular basis (and drink a lot of water), you will want to keep your workouts up. Studies have shown that people who regularly exercise eat healthier.

9. Read-Purchase fitness magazines, health magazines or read fitness blogs for new ideas, trends, etc.

10. Events-Sign up for an event such as a race, charity cycle class, yoga seminar etc. This will keep things interesting and give you a goal to work toward.

Yoga Top by Prana

Cute T Shirt by Nike

Watch by Soleus from Road Runner Sports