Top Five Fall Race Tips
It might still feel like summer outside, but those fall races are just around the corner. The Monon Track Club is here to help you smash those personal records. Below are our top tips for getting the most out of your fall races.
- Embrace the Heat
You might be slogging through these hot and humid runs dreaming of cooler temperatures, but the extended exposure to summer-like conditions is going to pay dividends when the mercury drops. Studies show that the adaptations to running in heat and humidity are similar to those of altitude training. Meaning you’ll be that much quicker and efficient in the cooler weather. So lean into those muggy runs while we have them, and reap the benefits later this fall.
- Consistency is Key
We all have that friend who suffers a little setback and thinks doing just their weekly workouts and a long run will get them to the finish line. In reality, it’ll probably just set them back even more. With only a couple months or weeks left until your goal race, be sure to keep your running consistent with a mix of recovery runs and workouts. If a little injury crops up, don’t hesitate to cross-train for a week or so. You might lose a little fitness, but you’ll likely stave off a season-ending injury. Nobody remembers a killer workout on a bum knee in September, but they do remember a Boston-qualifying time in November.
- Trust in the Tempo
Tempo (or Threshold) runs offer the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to quality workouts. If you’ve dabbled in fartleks (or shorter intervals) for a few weeks, and your legs are adapting well, it’s time for some sustained efforts. You can calculate your estimated threshold pace using various online calculators, or you can just use 75% effort. As a rule of thumb, you should finish your tempo runs feeling like you could run the workout again if you had to.
- Hit the Gym and Roll Out the Yoga Mat
As runners, we’re notoriously bad about doing anything that isn’t running. But those weight room sessions are going to make you faster and less-injury prone. Check out Quick Strength for Runners for twice a week workouts that’ll have you feeling fitter in just a few weeks. Or if you wanna take it up a notch, look into Running Rewired for some more advanced exercises. And don’t forget to make Yoga part of your weekly training. The enhanced mobility benefits will also help to keep injuries at bay.
- Nothing New on Race Day
You’ve survived the summer, consistently trained, mixed in some quality workouts, and embraced your inner body builder. Don’t let last minute race prep derail you! Interested in a new gel? Try it out during a long run. Want some flashy new race flats? Throw them on for some intervals. The point is, your hydration, nutrition, gear, and everything else that goes into your race should be dialed in by race day. If you haven’t tried it out during your training, your goal race isn’t the place to debut something new.
With a little planning ahead, you'll set yourself up for a great fall race! Interested in learning more or getting the most out of your training? Contact Coach Lawton.