Sometimes we end up racing on the fly without much notice. In a normal state of health, this is not a big deal and its easy to just go with the flow and enjoy the moment. However, if you have been injured and aren’t quite “up to par” then you need to think about a strategy before you hit the start line.
To create a successful strategy, you must first be honest with yourself. What is your current level of fitness? To what degree are you healed and “ready to run”? What is your current pace? If you just ran an 8:39 average over 3 miles (sound familiar?), then don’t expect to go out and knock that pace down to 7 minute miles during the race. It doesn’t really matter that you were a 7 minute miler prior to the injury, your body needs to build back up to the previous level of health and fitness in order to start resembling its former self.
After you are honest with yourself and consider your current level of health and fitness, then you can come up with a reasonable strategy for race day. Possibly create more than one strategy, one for optimal conditions and then a back up plan for real life race day conditions (90 degrees with 95% humidity – AKA – Summertime in Chicago!)
In my opinion, when one is returning to racing after injury, the most important thing is to be patient and listen to what your body is saying. So when I hit the start line on Sunday at the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5K at the Chicago Half Marathon, I plan to start conservatively and listen to my body.
Who knows what the clock will say when I finish but I’m focused and looking forward. Looking forward to a future of healthy running. Looking forward to increasing my level of fitness. Looking forward to the speed that I know will come as I get stronger. Bottom line, my race strategy is to not mess anything up, which means that I will not run harder or faster than my current level of fitness will allow.
Are you racing this weekend? Is it a goal race or are you also in the building process?
If you are running the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5K at the Chicago Half Marathon stop by the VIP tent at the finish line and say hello!
** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** firstname.lastname@example.org