Do you have a race plan?
This is an often overlooked part of preparing for an event. It does not matter if it is a 5K, sprint triathlon or marathon. You have done all the hard work of finding the time to train, learning how to prepare for your event and now it is race day. As you head to the start line, you’ve done everything you can to be ready for this race. Right?
Not so fast! (See what we did there?)
So many athletes walk to the start line thinking that the hard work is done and they have made it. And yet, they have no plan for what they are actually going to do on race day. There are a lot of issues to consider here. Will you warm up? What pace will you start? Are you planning for a faster finish by starting out conservatively? What is a conservative pace?
These are all pertinent and important issues. But, beyond these questions, there is another aspect of race planning that many have never considered.
Whether you are set to race a 5k, olympic triathlon or marathon, what is the course profile and how can you use it to your advantage on race day?
Using the ups and downs of a race course can help you keep your effort level consistent giving you energy and an advantage as you head towards that finish line.
The decision to run the Black Canyon 100K Ultra in Arizona was a bit last-minute because I didn’t get into any of the other three events I had entered lotteries for. I knew about 12 weeks out that this would be the event I would have to aim for, my second time at the 100K (about 62 miles) distance. I needed Black Canyon, because I really wanted to run a Western States qualifier this year. I had missed out last year due to injury.
For those new to the ultra world, Western States is the Kona of ultra running or the Boston of marathons – you have to qualify, but that can be tricky. The catch is that you have to enter a lottery to run a qualifying event to qualify for the lottery to run the race. Got all that?