First of all, to all of our new runners/walkers, congratulations to each of you for completing a month of training. You made a commitment to yourself and you are sticking with it; you set a goal for yourself and you are making progress toward it. That’s awesome. To all of you returning runners/walkers, thanks so much for coming back and being part of the community once again. And volunteers, thanks as always for the moral support and the refreshments.
Whether you are a beginner or are more experienced, there is always something you can do to improve. Running may seem simple – just put one foot in front of the other, a lot of times. Actually, there is quite a bit to pay attention to and think about so you can optimize your experience every time you get out there. At the workshop last week, Erika Hall presented a number of tips; and at the breakfast this morning, Brandon presented more. We know it’s a lot of information to take in, so we will review and reinforce these lessons throughout the season, starting today.
The tip for this week: Pace yourself. 13.1 miles is a long way; and 26.2 miles is even longer. The runs we are doing now are relatively short, so it may be tempting to start off at a strong pace. There are two reasons not to. First of all, your body needs some time to warm up. You are less likely to get injured if you take it easy for the first 10-20 minutes, and then gradually go faster. Second, it’s not fun to run out of steam in the middle of the run and have to slow way down in order to make it to the end. So, here’s what we recommend for each run: Take it easy for the 1-2 miles, roughly 10-20 minutes. Then pick up the pace a little, maybe 10-15 seconds per mile faster. If you feel like you still have lots of energy, think “Great, I’ll save it for the end.” Don’t pick up the pace quite yet. If you are still feeling strong as you begin the last mile or so, then pick up your pace a bit more, but only enough that you can still maintain a conversation. (Please note that this applies to the midweek runs later in the week and the Sunday run, and not the Tuesday recovery run which should be slow for the entire run.) This is all about managing your energy levels, learning what your limits are, and pacing yourself to be able to finish strong. It takes some practice, and some trial & error. You can do it!