My running friends know that when I train, I train hard. I rarely cut runs short. It’s even rarer for me to skip a long run. I’ll choose to run by myself when my schedule and my friends’ schedules don’t match up.
Just because I train hard, though, doesn’t mean that I am certain of a positive outcome. Anything can happen in any race.
Don’t expect training to pay off in one season
I think this is one of the biggest “secrets” about training — 2 or 3 months don’t necessarily give you immediate results. They might, but it’s unlikely. Especially if you don’t have someone guiding you.
You have to keep showing up and doing the work and trust that it will pay off somewhere down the road — because it will. I’m living proof.
Don’t know your PRs
Ask me what my 10k PR is in a couple of weeks and I’ll probably have no clue. Ok, I do know my 5k PR (probably because I’ve been chasing a new one for a long time) and my half PR. I don’t know those in between distances — the 4 mile, the 3.5 mile, the 5 mile, the 15k.
You can’t obsess about what you don’t know.
Don’t look at last year’s race
Looking at the previous year’s race can certainly be helpful — knowing what pace you started out at and how that worked for you, where the hills are, that sort of thing. If you don’t know what your finish time was in the previous year you won’t obsess about beating it.
Don’t have your watch show elapsed time
I have my watch set so that it doesn’t show me elapsed time. Ever. Not in training or during a race. I generally have no clue whether or not I’ve PR’d or am on my way to a PR as I’m racing. I have a race plan, it has paces, and I try to hit my paces.
This is a do as I say, not as I do, because so far, I’ve never had to run naked (aka no watch or not looking at your watch) in a race. Or wanted to. Running Buddy J just did that for our 10k last week and she did awesome. I know Darlene @ Myfirst5k has done it on more than one occasion and claims it was really freeing.
Running fast rarely comes naturally to me. My running will often slow down towards the end of a race — sometimes even at the beginning — if I don’t “watch” it. I get why running by feel can be important, but what can I say? I’m not feeling it. But you might find it helpful to ease the pressure on yourself.
Do you race “naked”?
Do you even care about your finish time?
What was the race that surprised you the most — in a good way?