Saturday, April 16, 2011

Race Less. PR More!

Reading through my Facebook Feed I tend to read about people's cries on missing out on a PR (personal record) or not being able to to establish one during a certain race that they did. Weirdly though this seems to become a trend and that same cry is being shouted out every week or every month. Question now is ,why? Why is it so hard to have a better PR? Here are my two cents on this subject:

1. Preparation - Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

- Remember how when we first started running or training, we usually had this online program that we would follow to help us achieve that goal? Some of you may be familiar with the couch to 5k program, this is a 9 week program to help beginners run their first 5k. Imagine that , 9 weeks preparation to run a 5k! Why so long? Well because the body needs to gradually be prepared for the distance or the intensity that it will be undertaking during the run.

Now as we become more atoned to running these distances we sometimes become reliant and think, oh hey I can practically run a 5k or a 10k any day. So why can't I just go and race one then hope to PR. See, that would be our first mistake. Yes we can run a 10k but don't hope to PR cause you were not able to prepare properly for that certain race. What I suggest is go back to the basics, follow a program and stick with it. There are programs out there which you can search for which are for more advanced runners seeking to get a better PR. Set a date to race and only race on that day. This way you not only prepare for a specific race and save your energy for it, but you actually save more money on registration fees.

2. Quality Training - Quality over Quantity

- For all you know you can be killing yourself running everyday and you still in no way don't get any faster. Quality is the key to getting the results you want. I've talked about this in a previous entry, so you can check it out here:

Training Log #11 - Training Quantity vs. Training Quality

3. Research - Knowledge is Power

- How many times have you asked yourself the following:
  • Why do I keep getting a side stitch?
  • How should I pace during my runs?
  • What should I be eating before a race?
  • I get so hungry and weak while running, why?
  • My knee hurts when I go downhill, why?
There a lot of factors which can happen during the run. Things can get unpredictable and it can mess up your race. So when these things happen what do you do? Some people just suck it up while others give up. Both of which aren't the wisest things to do, thats why you have to research. Read running articles, search for questions you may have or ask other friends who run. With the knowledge in hand, you will know what to do the next time something happens.

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