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TRAINING Five lessons for race day

Canadian 800 metre runner and Olympic hopeful Michael del Monte is currently Athletics Director at Bradford College and recently won the Bradford Half Marathon. As part of his work with Bradford Athletics Network he has visited the Club several times recently.

t the recent social gathering a lot of athletes were asking about race-day information regarding nutrition. I thought I would share a few other race-day lessons that I’ve learned that have helped me run personal bests and/or compete to the best of my ability. Some of these may sound dead simple but I encourage you to read them through.


Lesson 1: Execute Your Training The day is finally upon you! You’ve been training for this for the last several weeks and the excitement is taking over. You feel nervous and anxious to hear the gun go and to be set free to achieve what you’ve been training to achieve. Don’t let your enthusiasm cloud good judgment. Make sure you execute your training. All of the things you have been practicing the last several weeks must now be put into action. If you usually do a little bit of a warm-up before your harder runs then do the same on race-day. Don’t try new things just because it’s called a ‘race’. Your opportunity to try new things has long passed. For this race, execute exactly what you’ve been doing in training. You can try new things the next time around.

Lesson 2: Dress Appropriately It was 4 degrees out and I was wearing pants over my tights. I had a hat and gloves on and this guy walked by me in shorts and a T-Shirt … 60 minutes before the race! Dress appropriately!! Keep your muscles warm until it is time to run. You don’t want to be overheated but you certainly don’t want to start a


race with cold muscles. That’s just what you need … weeks and weeks of training down the tube because you didn’t wear proper clothes the morning of the race. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad attire! If you dress appropriately you can run fast in almost any conditions … wind in your face the entire run is a bit of a different story.

Lesson 3: Bring A Cheerleader I was on a plane to Boston to race at the Boston Terrier Invitational. It was my first race experience entirely on my own! I had no coaches or teammates there and I knew no one! I still ended up winning the race, but it was a bit of a sad feeling to go back to my hotel and not being able to share the joy with anyone. If things had gone poorly it would have been even worst. Try and find a friend or family member to come to your race with you. They can come in handy when there are long lines and unorganized races. It also helps a lot to have someone keep you relaxed before the race. Just small talk with someone can keep your mind from wandering.

Lesson 4: Be Competitive You’ve trained hours for this! It’s time to reap the benefits of all your hard work. While it is important for you to remain calm and execute your training, don’t be afraid to be competitive. You’ve worked hard and now is the time to get on the start line and do exactly what you have been training to do … run as fast as you can until the finish line! Don’t be chatting to people during the race. Save the conversation for after you


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