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Trust Your Training

Posted December 13, 2022 by Kyle Rutledge, MS, AT, ATC

Older man and women running on the street

Your months of training are complete. The time has come – it’s finally race day. Whether this is your first marathon or one of many, the prerace jitters are normal yet can lead to not sticking to your training plan and, possibly, an unsuccessful race.

If you’re a beginner runner (or even a veteran) and think you’re alone every time you question your fitness, training plan, or race strategy, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is not uncommon to get overanxious and excited – letting the moment of the race get the better of you. But the best thing to do is trust the your training and stick with your race plan. Trusting your training is just as important as the training itself. To consistently run well, it is critical that you have an unwavering belief in your fitness and race plan.

Training and competition have a unique relationship in that the latter is merely the expression of the former. If you train with sufficient intelligence and persistence, you will arrive at your competition so thoroughly prepared that your success is almost guaranteed. The trick to being well prepared for a race is developing a solid aerobic base and getting many miles on your feet without being injured or sidelined on the way to the starting line. The best way to do that is to run easy, at an aerobic pace approximately 70 to 80 percent of max heart rate or a minute or two slower than a 5k pace. This allows you to get the most practice possible, without getting hurt. 

In a perfect world, you will have planned for all possible challenges; physical, mental and emotional. Beyond the physical stimuli, your training should grant you the depth of experience to know how you will handle the challenges thrown your way. While you may not be able to anticipate all the variables that may come across on race day, your training will give you experience in which to rely upon so the situation doesn’t derail your race.

Upon start on race day, you may want to throw caution to the wind and sprint – running off your intended pace. Don’t let the moment get the best of you. Remain calm and keep the pace, breath normally and run your race. If you do this, your race will be enjoyable and one to be proud of.


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