Maintaining a Running Program

Lyman Keeping
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Know the race course

Whether you are a novice runner or an experienced racer, it is always advisable to familiarize yourself with the course of your upcoming race.

You should drive the route several days before the race, but better still practice on it several weeks before the actual event.

If this is your first attempt at racing, run segments of the course until you have completed the whole distance. For example, if you are planning on running in the CHCM Garnish-Frenchman’s Cove 10-kilometre Road Race, take the next several weeks and do two or three training sessions on the course.

On your first attempt, run to the 2km mark and back; during your next run, go to the 4km point and then on your last training session complete the whole course.

By doing this, you will not only become very familiar with the different subtleties of the route, but will also gain confidence knowing you have already completed it once. Now all you have to do is duplicate this effort on race day.

If you are a competitive athlete, it also pays to run the course a couple of times before June 4. Whether you are competing to finish in a certain position, or trying to better your time from last year, it’s good to know where you can surge and where you have to pull back.

For example, this course is known for its strong winds, so if you have already experienced this feature, then you will realize if the wind is in your face for the first 5k, it is to your advantage to run the first half at a slower than normal pace.

By doing this, you will have plenty in reserve for the last half when the wind is at your back.

Knowing the race course will also enable you to know where the distance markers are located, so you will not have to look for them during the race. Having this knowledge makes it easier for a racer to keep a certain pace.

And don’t forget to enjoy the route!

It is true the last thing on the mind of a highly competitive athlete is the scenery; however, if you are a middle-of-the-pack or back-of-the-pack competitor, enjoy the scenic spots along the course, particularly during the first two kilometers or so.

Envelope yourself in the beauty of the ocean on your right, and the expanse of the beaches on your left. If you are nervous, use these first few kilometers to unwind.

Even though racing is a challenging experience, make it as much fun as possible. Avoid being blindsided on race day by something unexpected such as strong winds, steep hills etc.

It pays to know the course.

Over the next few days the race course between Garnish and Frenchman’s Cove will be clearly marked, so get out there and practice

Have fun and we will see you on race day!

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