3 years on the road — including scratching a destination race and sandbagging my first “real” half — have done nothing if not taught me that simply ignoring some small things now, half-way into your training regimen, can result in turning in a truly sub-par performance on race day. Here’s everything you need to know.
Skip your training runs. – Look. It’s just a couple of miles you can totally make up the next training day. Two miles? Pfft. You’ve run six. In the snow. What’s two miles.
Rest on the Rest/Cross-Train Days. – The training calendar says “Rest OR Crosstrain”, right? What possible good could those bridges and other core-strength building do, because everyone knows running is about your legs.
Fuck around with your gear. – Nothing is worse for a long run or race day than consistency. Change things up! The more frequently the better. New socks? Sure. Increasing complicated ways to route your headphone cable? Yes indeedy. Oo oo. New apps on your smartphone that let you blog as you run? Hell yes. Nothing decreases your chances of success like having something new to take your mind off the run at hand. Which goes double for race day.
Sleep irregularly. – You’ll make up for it in the week before the race. Because that’s all that’s really important.
Eat crap. – You’re burning 1000+ calories per run. Eat what you want.
If you’ve put in the road time, then you have the power to succeed beyond your wildest dreams or shoot it all to hell on race day. Stay focused on being distracted and you’re sure the get the outcome you’re not looking for.