Thursday, October 19, 2006

Run Like You Mean It

In the city of Cincinnati, there are a number of races that are hosted through out the city. Most are hosted in hopes to raise money for a charitable cause or event. Some of the more popular races in the area are the Reggae Run that takes place in Hyde Park and the Racing to Read Run hosted by the Kenton County Public Library in Covington KY. Neither of these races can take the place of the two most popular Cincinnati races, which are the Flying Pig, and the Thanksgiving Day Race. I have run all of the aforementioned 5k races and have learned a few things that I want to share with you so that you can perform your best the next time that you race.

First and fore most, as with any test, weather it is a test of brain power or a test of will, you are going to have to practice. Practice makes perfect, and in this case, practice makes you a lot better. You cannot expect to complete a 5K race in any reasonable time if you have never even walked that distance before. You are going to want to start training at least 30 days before the race. Earlier, depending on your physical condition.

If you hear a gun shot on the street, the first thing that comes to your mind is to run away from the sound of the shot as fast as you can. This would be great way to start a race if you were only running a one hundred meter dash, but you are running over 20 times that length. You do not want to start out sprinting. When you hear the gun shot, indicating the beginning of the race, start off at a trot and gradually work your way up to a comfortable pace.

Once you have just achieved your comfortable pace, you are half way there. You are in a race, remember? Since this is a race that you are in, your ultimate goal should be to finish the race before anyone else. One way to do that is to pass the person in front of you. Because not every one of us can be as fast as we want to be, let us keep our goals small, at first. When running the race, make it your short term goals to pass the person in that is just ahead of you. Once you have passed that person, set your sites on the next person.

One way for you to most efficiently run the race is to breathe I know that this may be a silly thing to remember because we all know that one can not live without breathing. I should be more specific. You want to make sure that your breathing is controlled. When we start to exert ourselves, our body begins to need more oxygen. Sometimes, your brain over compensates and makes you breathe harder than you really need to. If you consciously control your breathing, your body will process the oxygen more efficiently helping you to run the race easier and maybe faster.

The aforementioned four steps should take you more than three quarters of the way though the race. Once this goal is reached, it should literally be all down hill from there. In most races, you should now be able to actually see the finish line. This is where some people let their adrenaline take over. This is great if you are in tip top shape, but for those of use who are novices, letting our adrenaline get the best of us could result in nothing more than a pulled muscle.

So before you let it all out towards the end of the race, make sure you consciously think of all of the elements that have been mentioned. After you have made to you gliding pace, instead of settling for just passing one person at a time, you are going to want to step up your drive and pass two people at a time. All the while making sure that you regulate your breathing so that you do not let your brain take over and try to take in more air than your body needs. Now you should be less then two hundred meters from the finish. You can now hear the band playing and the crowd cheering you on. Oh what the heck, this is when you can let it all out and sprint the rest of the way until you reach the finish line. Finish hard or go home!

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