As many of you already know, last week was race week in my house! Just not for me.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ll already know that my husband raced the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. over the weekend and came in 2nd overall! I am so proud of him and all the hard work he has put into getting to where he is and continues to work towards!
It was such a fun weekend to be able to share as a family!
Sometimes race week is TOUGH. You’ve put weeks and months of training into a race and it all comes down to one day. You could have the best day of your life or struggle from the very beginning. There are many unknowns and sometimes that can be hard, but the week leading up to your big race is extremely important!
Since marathon season is here and in full effect, today I wanted to share a few race week mistakes I see many runners make and how to avoid them, because let’s face it – we all want to put ourselves in the best position possible on race day!
1. Comparing Your Training to Others
Social media is such a great tool but it can also be dangerous for comparisons! It’s easy during race week to start comparing your training to others. Everyone trains differently, responds to training differently, and has a different approach. It’s also easy to “sugar coat” training on Instagram and you can’t see the full story behind the pretty pictures.
The best think you can do instead of comparing yourself is simply trust your training. You’ve put in the work and that’s all that matters. Sometimes it can help to look back at your training and the workouts you’ve put in. You have to believe and trust your training.
2. Stopping all Faster Runs and Workouts
Race week doesn’t (and taper) doesn’t mean you have to quit all your workouts and faster runs. Yes, you will be decreasing your volume but that doesn’t mean you need to decrease your intensity as well. It keeps your leg fresh to run your pace on race day.
Keeping a few workouts will keep your body feeling strong and help to keep your confidence up heading into race day. That can go a long way!
3. Stressing Out Over Things You Can’t Control
Unfortunately with races it comes down to one day. No matter how much you prepare there are things that are completely out of your control and there is no reason to focus on those. One of the biggest of these is of course – weather. It’s easy to stalk the weather 10 days out and look at every tiny change. The fact is there is nothing you can do and you only have two choices – to race or not to race.
The only thing you can control about your race day is your preparation. Do everything in your power and let the rest be. You sometimes might even surprise yourself regardless what the weather ends up being.
4. Forgetting to ENJOY the Process
Running and race week can get stressful if you forget to ENJOY the process. This is something I’ve really taken seriously this cycle. The process of preparing for the race, the week before, the expo, and even the race day itself is all something to ENJOY. You’ve worked hard but if it isn’t fun then you probably need to find a new hobby!
Don’t forget to enjoy the process even during the tougher days. It can be so much fun if you don’t get too caught up in everything else!
5. Not Planning Out Your Race Day
Planning out your race day is important to help you feel more confident about your day. Plan out your race strategy, your race day outfit, time you need to arrive, fueling strategy, etc. The more you plan out the less of the unknown you will face when it comes to race day.
Take control of what you can and it will make you feel more confident on race day! Even though you can plan it’s also important to be able to adapt if something doesn’t go exactly as planned.
Race day and race week should be FUN! Focus on planning what you can, letting go of what is beyond your control, and remember to enjoy every second!