November 28, 2020

The Best Race Strategy Ever!

Racing is pretty tough. It’s the one chance you get to determine your fitness level or kick that jerk’s butt who keeps beating you in the local 5K-10K scene. So how do you perform at your best in a race.?

The real trick is to efficiently use your energy. Going out too fast and you suck wind the rest of the race. Going out too slow and “hey, did you just pay $50 for a fun-run??” Age has taken its toll, so you can’t go zooming out and expect to hold on now, can you? Now it’s time to smarten up.

With age comes wisdom

What if you had a simple racing strategy that effectively utilizes your energy so you always run your best race? Wouldn’t that be great? A strategy that pretty much guarantees you’ll run your best.

When you were young and on your own. How did it feel to be alone??…oops, slipped a Neil Young lyric in there..LOL

Amy’s Strategy* : 3 Steps to Your Best Race

This technique is based on breaking your race into three parts: beginning, middle, and end. Actually, let’s just say, each 1/3 of the racing distance.

  1. Relax. Sure go out the first 100 yards or so pretty fast. Get in position. The goal is to get settled in your pace quickly. Now, relax through the first 1/3 of the race. Gauge where you are. This strategy works on the track or road race. (There are exceptions, this approach doesn’t always work on Cross Country courses, e.g., Van Courtlandt Park in the Bronx, NYC. For this course, you have to sprint 400 yards because most of the course is on a 2-yard wide horse trail. Don’t worry though, the last 1/2 mile is wide-open field again. You can die there.)
  2. Engage. This means you really start to pay attention to the people around you. You start to focus on picking off people. You run harder. Go like this for the next 1/3 of the race.
  3. Attack. This is the last part of the race when everyone is dying. You need to attack when everyone else is dying. You’re not feeling too bad, though. This is where you really race. You press as much as possible. You test your mettle against everyone else. In the last 400 meters, you need to sprint.

This is all there is to it. The one requirement to be successful with this approach is being disciplined enough to do it. Ah, that’s the rub, isn’t it?

Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes.

P.S. – You may need something to help you with each stage. I’d suggest a watch like the Garmin ForeRunner 45. It’s a mid-level watch that you can use for training and racing.

*my daughter Amy came up with this strategy in college.