Race Day Reconnaissance

lessons learned Oct 28, 2020

Sometimes what first seems like a great idea turns out to be far less than ideal.
Paula and I live in western Kentucky. It is a beautiful area with lots of colors. We experience all four seasons with lows in single digits and highs near 100. We often have high humidity, so the heat index exceeds 100 for weeks at a time. However, where we live is relatively flat.

Paula heard about the Revel Mt Hood Marathon outside of Portland, Oregon. The race starts on a mountain and works its way down a 6% grade for the first 6 miles. Then it eases off but is still downhill for most of the race. We thought this would be great to try.  We searched around our town for long hills but found very few. We trained on what we found.

When we arrived in Oregon, we drove to the race start to get a sense of the incline. It was shocking! It was hard to walk on much less run on. The road was fine. The scenery was beautiful. But the grade was brutal.

When the race started, I took off at my target marathon...

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Get to the Starting Line Healthy

lessons learned Oct 13, 2020

When you decide to compete in an endurance event, you typically find a plan or build a plan.  Paula and I remove this stress and responsibly from our team members.  However, instead of laying out the entire training cycle, we focus on one or two weeks at a time.  The benefit of this method is that the plan will evolve based on the athlete’s fitness, health, and life events.

Determined or Smart?

Endurance athletes are committed individuals.  As you know, our hobby is far from easy and that’s one of the reasons we enjoy it so much.  Being committed to a training plan can cause problems.  We encourage our athletes to “get to the starting line healthy”.   We need to see how you respond to training in order to map out the next set of workouts to maximize potential with a priority on getting to the starting line healthy.  Some athletes may determine that if they can’t break a certain time, they prefer not to even...

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Nothing new on Race Day

lessons learned Oct 13, 2020

Endurance athletes are unique individuals.  We push ourselves hard.  We sometimes feel guilty when we don’t train.  We enjoy setting goals and pushing our limits.  For an endurance athlete, the opportunities to compete throughout a year may be few.  For Ironman athletes or marathoners, two events per year are typically the max.  Competing in shorter events offers many more opportunities.  But we all need time to allow our bodies and minds to absorb the efforts and come back stronger.

If you are planning to attend one or two events per year, the anticipation and excitement can be overwhelming at times.  Day after day you increase your fitness.  When race day arrives, you are full of nervous energy.  You probably toss and turn most of the night before. 

Beware of Expos

At larger events, you may go to an expo the day before. If, like me, you come from a small town in Kentucky, walking around an expo and seeing all the...

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