Laying the Foundation for Success
- Set a goal. Pick a distance or timed event (12 hr, 24 hr, 50K, 50 Miler – Yeah I’ve met people who jumped straight from half marathons to full 50’s), a date, and commit. Put it on the calendar, tell your friends, spray paint it on your door – whatever you have to.
- Location, Location, Location. Find the right race, at the right place. Either near or far, there are plenty of events to choose from. Keep it close to home, or make it a run-cation.
- Read. The. Website. First. Before you sign up, you should have read every page on the event website. Didn’t do it yet? Do it now. From aid station layout, to possible course changes, and hazard alerts – race websites, Facebook pages and social media feeds are your best friends for critical information.
- Consider the weather/seasonal conditions. Dry trails, wet mud, freezing rain, or blistering sun. Look up historical conditions from the National Weather Service and race reports.
- Lodging/Travel. Drive in that morning? Hotel? Tent? Trunk of your car?
- Familiarize. Google! Check out blogs, YouTube, Reddit, and the rest of the internet to see what it was like for those have gone before.
- Train for your event! Seems kinda obvious right? Get a good training plan in place, get your bulk mileage on par with your event; long runs, speed work, and hills. Live in the flat lands? Find a parking garage or a treadmill with an incline. Be ready for the course, not just the race.
The Week Before
- Re-read the website/ Check Facebook and Social Media. Many races will post last minute updates and information. Stay informed!
- Monitor the weather. Clothing, pace, nutrition, hydration – all these are greatly impacted by heat, humidity, temperature, and other atmospheric conditions. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
- Buy Early. Don’t go to Bib Pickup hoping to find the last bottle of SaltStick. Get it before you go.
- Pack early. Don’t wait till 11 pm the night before your race, get your supplies early and pack it up!
- Plan your race. Use the course information! What are cutoffs? What pace will you be running where (hills/flats? What gear will you need at what drop bag?