So you’ve spent the last several months training for your next (or first) race, and finally, the big day is here.
The fact is, you can do everything right, leading up to the big day but only blow it when the starting gun fires. That’s why working on your racing strategy should be a part of your training program if you’re serious about reaching your race goals.
So how do you actually stick to a race pace during the event? If you don’t know the answer, then you’re in the right place.
In today’s post, I’m sharing with you my best advice on how to make sure to have the best race ever by making sure you do not slow.
Let’s get started.
Practice Race Pace
Many newbie racers start out too fast. That’s the classic rookie mistake, and it happens because beginners don’t know the exact goal pace.
How do you prevent it? Practice it during your training days. The longer your practice training at your goal pace, the easier it will to lock in and keep.
Once you improve your overall sense of pace, it will carry over from your races to your everyday workouts.
Here’s how to put it into practice.
In the six to eight weeks leading to race day, throw in some race pace practice into your weekly schedule. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect!
Start by running at your goal race pace for half to three quarters of a mile. Then run a little father at your goal pace until you’re covering at least half of the race distance. You can also run the first part of a long run at your usual pace and then for the last mile shoot for goal pace.
Start The Race Slow
Sure, it may feel good to pick up the pace early on but could cost you later.
When you start out too fast, you increase your heart rate and body temperature more quickly, which revs up your sweat rate and fatigues you more quickly.
Instead, start slower than you think you need to. Shoot for 5 to 10 seconds per mile slower than your goal race pace for the first mile or so—depending on the race distance, of course.
This may feel slow, and you might be getting passed by other runners you want to beat, but don’t let your ego stand in the way.
Listen to Your Breathing
Use your breathing to gauge your speed. Once you lock onto your goal race pace, pay attention to your breathing, and monitor if you start to breathe faster or change your breathing rhythm.
Keep a pace at which you can breathe comfortably for the first few miles, and you’ll be able to rev it up down better towards the end. If you’re huffing and puffing earlier in the race, you’re heading in the wrong direction.
Check-in your breathing rate while racing at different points. It’s okay if that’s your last mile—or the final surge—of the race, but try to keep things under control.
Want to make sure you run your best race ever? Remember to practice the above training guidelines until they become second nature. It’s just a matter of time. The rest is just details, as the saying goes.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep training strong.