- Taking it out too hard--This is probably the number-one race day blunder. To avoid it, begin by seeding yourself accordingly. If you line up with the front of the pack, you'll likely get caught up. A mile or two in, your body will tell you that was a mistake. Practice starting your runs at an easier pace and gradually increasing the speed towards the end to help keep you in check on race day.
- Showing up at the race at the last minute--Big races in particular can be logistical nightmares. Avoid getting stuck in long lines by giving yourself time to get parked, into your race-day outfit, and properly warmed up.
- Waiting until the last minute to hit the loo--Sounds silly, but the lines can get very long at the porta-potties! Get in line as soon as you arrive so that you're not still there when the gun goes off.
- Skipping the water stops--Yes, taking in fluids while running can be tricky, but practice it in advance and it will be easier. Or consider walking through the aid stations. Whatever you do, don't skip the chance to hydrate.
- Wearing too much/too heavy clothing--Many races start early in the morning when it's still cold. But once you get moving in your race, you'll heat up fast--faster than you would in training, in fact. So bring a throw-away shirt and/or pants to keep warm and then toss them at the start or a mile or two in. Most races collect this clothing post-race and donate it.
Monday, October 11, 2010
The big day is here...now what?
The hard work is done. You've logged countless miles getting ready for your big race and the day is finally here. Now all that's left to do is execute. Avoid these common mistakes and you'll finish like a champ: