Tips for Racing Wisely - Page 5
For all but the fastest runners in shorter ultramarathons, the presumption is that pace will degrade as the race continues and fatigue sets in. The goal is to begin at an effort that is completely easy. If you are working in the first quarter of an ultramarathon, the rest is not likely to be pretty. If you are feeling great, slow down. If you are feeling less than great, slow down—and address any problems that contribute to this crummy feeling before they become devastating. If you are chafing or blistering, adjust your clothes or shoes. If your stomach isn’t settled, consider how to fix the issue: slow down, eat more, eat less, chew some candied ginger.
As the race continues and you grow more tired, focus on staying focused.
There will be hours where your attention wanders, but periodically cycle it back to your intention, your goals, your form, your breath, and your race plan. Whenever possible, keep moving forward—not hurriedly, but deliberately. Spend as little time stopped, and as little time seated, as possible. The longer you stay in one place, the stronger the pull to stop moving entirely. It’s Newton’s First Law of Thermodynamics.
Ultras are unique in allowing outside pacers, usually at the halfway mark. If you are going to use a friend as a pacer, have a very detailed conversation about what you expect from them. Do you want jokes? Encouragement? Quiet company? Similarly, if you use a volunteer pacer, make your needs clear and be grateful for this service.
Sage Rountree of Chapel Hill, North Carolina is an internationally recognized authority in yoga for athletes and in endurance sports coach specializing in athletic recovery. As an experienced registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, she has nationwide workshops that are for athletes, Olympians, NBA and NFL players, as well as some University of North Carolina athletes and coaches. An athlete herself she competes in anything from 400m to the ultramarathon and triathlons from the super sprint to the Iron Man. Since 2008 she has been a member of Power Bar Team Elite and has been an Athleta Featured Athlete and is currently the ambassador for PrAna. This will be her fifth published book for athletes. For more information visit her website: http://sagerountree.com