There are two distinct cultures when it comes to preparing for a race. I hear it time and time again when speaking to different runners at different distance events. Obviously, this is not the case for professional athletes as they employ people specifically to plan and create a strategy for their races! This is amongst us mere mortals, the Sunday morning racers…
Laissez Faire Attitude
There are the runners who prefer to leave race day to fate. They do the training, put the miles in and certainly work hard to achieve their optimum fitness for race-day, but during the actual race they’ll have some brekkie, strap on their Casio stopwatch and head for the start line. A race is to be enjoyed, these runners say. Take in the scenery, connect with your body and adjust your effort by listening to it. Feel the buzz of the race, never mind technology and pace per mile – just don’t let that guy behind you get ahead, or try chasing down that guy in front!
For this group a race is a carefully planned procedure where the enjoyment is in the knowledge that there is a race strategy and they know exactly how the race will be acted out, minute by minute. Hours will go in to checking previous results, calculating the pace per mile/km for each stage of the race and analysing the topography and course profile. Energy gels will be scheduled for miles 6 and 10 and a carefully balanced electrolyte drink will be placed carefully at the mid point of the course. During the race not a minute goes by without checking the vO2 level on the heart monitor and the current pace – exhausting in itself!
I’m probably more the first – which are you?