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Big race mistakes…

For most of you, you should be well into your training regime. Some are preparing to do their longest mileage or have already done so and are now tapering. Your “big” race is just a few weeks or maybe even a few days away. Excitement is building. You’re well on your way to accomplishing your big race goal as your training is “in the bag.” You deserve a reward just for completing the training! You have everything planned out!

Ahhhh, but then comes that silly packet pick-up and for many doing a big-city race (especially the half or full marathon), the exhibits are all a part of the excitement. A hall packed with new clothes, new gels, new ideas, new foods — and each one of them PROMISING improved performance and/or comfort. Here take a sample of this, have a drink of that and man, that new pair of running shorts (for half price, mind you) just are too good to refuse!

. . . I wonder how many people have messed up their months of training by falling into the Exhibit Hall trap?

Watch, you’ll see people eating things they have NEVER eaten the DAY BEFORE a huge physical challenge they’ve sacrificed months to take on. Do they know if that new energy bar will really help them OR will it give them cramping gas or worse, the runs by morning? How about that new re-hydrating beverage? Yeah, go ahead, try it . . . hope it doesn’t have anything in it that might not go so well with your body chemistry! Oh, look, there are some gels for 75 percent off! Gotta try some of those . . . at that price, I can buy a bunch and I’ll have plenty for tomorrow’s race . . . , hope they work for me and don’t cause me to puke. And man, what a steal on those shorts! Yeah, I’m gonna look sharp at the starting line tomorrow, I’ll tell you . . . hope they aren’t cut wrong and start rubbing at mile 5 . . . or 2 (ooo, nothing like 23 miles of chafing . . . followed by a nice hot shower, which feels more like rubbing alcohol on an open wound!) Hmmm, check out that new stretching tool — I’ll be that works really great, I gotta give that a try . . . hope it doesn’t cause me to be sore tomorrow morning.

Yeah, the Exhibit Hall CAN be dangerous as these are exhibits manned by “experts” who are all about your passion to run and boy, they can catch you when your guard is down. I mean, you’re at packet pick-up — you’re home-free now. Nope. Like I said, people tend to break the cardinal rule of running at packet pick-up for some reason: NEVER TRY, EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING NEW THE DAYS BEFORE/OF THE RACE! And of course, NEVER wear anything that hasn’t been personally “run tested” on a long run before race day cuz there’s no re-routing your run to go home and change into a different pair of shorts or switch out a sports bra on race day!

So, as you taper and approach your Big Race, trust in the tried and true. If you want to experiment, take the samples and good deals home from the Exhibit Hall and start trying ‘em out — when you start training for your NEXT event!

Have an awesome run today!

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