Friday, March 20, 2009

The race cometh

Well - the big one is exactly one month away. But, I have my hardest planned effort to-date tomorrow morning (The National Half-marathon in DC). I thought it would be a good chance to go over some of the race advice in Lore of Running, by Tim Noakes. I'll go over some of the advice in the other books that I've been using for my training as I get closer to Boston.

The Day Before Competition:

Drive over the course for a final time, paying special attention to the last section of the race.

Well, these days you don't need to drive because most races have a youtube of the course online. I've watched the National course about 3-4 times - including once today. It's flat at the beginning - a steady hill from 5-8 miles and generally downhill after that. So, I'm not looking for even splits.

Eat Wisely

The main message here is to not have the any GI issues. I made sure to include some protein tonight - but, not much sugar. I had a small steak, broccoli, wheat french bread, crackers, and toast with peanut butter and honey for "dessert".

Assemble your running gear the night before and ensure that you have everything

Complete - except that I just remembered I need to attach my chip to my shoe.

Get adequate rest

Right after I'm done typing I'm going to bed. Of course it's going to be difficult with a 7am race that's 40 miles away. I'm planning on heading out the door at 5am

The Day of the Race

Wake up correctly

There is nothing correct about a 4:45am wake up call. The author talks about finding a way to wake up "gradually" - I fear if I don't heed my watch alarm right away I'm not going to make it up.

Dress appropriately for race conditions

This will be tricky tomorrow. It's supposed to be 32 degrees at 7am. If you're going to check your warm-up clothing you pretty much have to only have on your racing gear for at least 15 minute before the race (the last call to the line) - so, I went to Walmart and bought some cheap sweats that I can throw away at the start. Most races know people will do this - so, they'll collect the sweats and give them to the poor. As for the actual race, I'm going to go with just my singlet and, as my wife calls them, "man panties". However, I'm going to wear gloves and a winter hat to start out. I'll abandon those within the first few miles.

Make your prerace meal a winner

It's the same basic idea as the meal the day before the race. Don't eat anything that will put your stomach in knots - or worse . . . Also, coffee is a good idea. I started drinking coffee before races in college - it seems to work pretty well for longer races.

I'm planning on eating a Dunkin Donuts egg-white flat bread breakfast sandwich tomorrow morning. I know that sounds odd - but, it's pretty light on the stomach. That - and of course a cup of joe.

Allow yourself ample warm-up time

I plan on being there at least an hour before the race. I'll probably jog easily for about 10 minute 40-50 minutes before the race. Do some good stretching - more dynamic rather than static (I'll have to write a post on this "controversy later"). I also have another pre-race habit I learned in college - I lay still - close my eyes and imagine a red liquid filling my body from my feet to my head. Then I imagine the liquid turning blue - again starting from my feet to my head. The effect is that I'm relaxing every muscle in my body. I may run a few strides as well - to get my muscles ready to run fast. I'll also try to have a cup of water that I can take small sips from - the nerves can lead to a little cotton mouth sometimes.

That's it! Time to get some rest.


THE KRIS said...

i don't suppose you'll see this pre-race, but good luck.

KLIM said...

GREAT race Ben! That was an awesome time and that must give you some great confidence as you move into April. The hard work is really paying off. That is great to see. Again, great job.

Ben said...

thanks Jake - it was one of those days where everything felt good.