When the taper madness started to sneak into my thoughts here, my friend Trish a super amazing Paralympic athlete sent me her “Competition Planner and Summary”. She told me to sit down with it and work through my “what ifs” that were eating away at me. She said that even though we can’t always control what happens during a race, we can control how we react to it by being prepared for it.
So here it is.
COMPETITION PLANNER AND SUMMARY
Name: Kelly Stevenson
Race: Detroit International Marathon
Race Date: Sunday October 21, 2012
Pre Race Preparation
List three (or more) positive things about my preparation for this competition.
1. I did 5 20+ mile runs on this training cycle experimenting with different times for my nutrition. Those 20 mile runs gave me confidence knowing that I can do this distance.
2. I ran a fast Half Marathon at 1:38 (a PR) 4 weeks prior to this marathon showing me that I have what it takes to push the pace for longer distances.
3. I was able to consistently do either a speed workout or a tempo run each week, and sometimes both. The speed workouts built confidence in my ability to move my legs faster and the tempo workouts helped me build confidence in my ability to recognize my race pace and get comfortable with that pace on tired legs.
4. I was able to shake off the bad days and focus on the good days of my training. I forgave myself when I wasn’t following “the plan”.
My primary focus and/or plan for this race is:
1. Warm Up- I will walk to the start from the hotel and snuggle in with the other runners at Corral C and post up with the 3:35 pace group. If something feels tight the morning of the race I will acknowledge it, stretch it, rub it out, loosen it up, but not let it overtake my focus.
2. Start- I will let the 3:35 pacer do the work for me. I will not check my watch. I understand that the first mile needs to be a slower mile. I will not race ahead of the 3:35 pacer through the first mile, no matter what.
3. First 3rd of the race (miles 1-9)- I will stay with the pace group and keep them in my eyesight. If they move ahead of me and I don’t feel like I can hold the pace, it is okay, I will simply keep them in eye shot and move up when I feel like I can. No need to panic. It’s early in the race. I will take in nutrition twice. I will take water at each fluid station (I think it is every other mile). I will walk through the fluid station consuming 1-2 cups of water as needed and resume running once I have drunk my desired amount of water. Always move forward, never stopping.
4. Middle 3rd of the race (miles 10-19)- I will move ahead of the 3:35 group when my legs feel strong enough for a long surge. I will pick up the pace at least once during each mile to change my cadence even if I only hold that pace for a few seconds. I will keep my foot cadence high on the hills (this has proven well for me on tough hill climbs). I will take in nutrition 1-2 times during this stretch depending on the tummy. If the tummy hurts, continue to take in water but don’t force down the nutrition. Take my time with it and don’t let it shake my confidence. Yes You. Can.
5. Last 3rd of the race (miles 20-26)- Take in nutrition as much as the tummy will allow. This will help push the wall away. Remember to take in nutrition before you think you need it. Water at every fluid station is a must. Turn on your music if you need it for a little extra motivation. Continue to surge in pieces throughout these 6 miles. Do whatever you feel you can. Even 10 seconds makes a difference. Open it up for the last mile. Go as fast as you can maintain for the last mile. Yes. You. Can.
6. Finish- You did it! Sub 3:35. Be happy. Be thankful. Smile. Now keep moving.
7. Post race cool down (recovery)- Keep moving. Do not sit down. You know better than that. Drink some chocolate milk. Drink more water. Eat a banana or bagel within an hour.
So there you have it. Hope this can help you in your next race! It definitely helped me work through some things for my race. Plus, I’m a planner so I like this stuff!
Here’s me giving Joe Lewis some knucks after the marathon. A kick ass marathon!