A great inspirational story kicks off Coaches Corner!
It happened in this years Western States 100 Endurance Run. For those who don't know Western States is a 100.2 mile trail race through the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Squaw Valley California, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, to Placer High School in Auburn California. It is the worlds oldest and most prestigious trail race. The course consists of 18,000 feet of climbing and 23,000 feet of decent, just an epic race!
The race has a cut off time of thirty hours and there is no exceptions. They call the last hour at the finish line the Golden Hour and as you can imagine there is alot of emotions going on as people struggle to finish.
Just to give you an idea, this years winner and honourary Renegade Rob Krar finished the race in 14:48:59.
Now this race is nearly impossible to get into. Long story short, ninety percent of the field must run a selected 100 mile race the year before to get a one ticket chance to be put in a barrel with approximately 2500 other runners for 350 available spots to be drawn in December. Many runners wait years to be drawn and have their chance at the belt buckle.
This year it was seventy year old Gunhild Swansons chance to run the race and she took full advantage with the most exciting finish ever. She crossed the finish line in 29:59:54 a full six seconds before the cutoff!
Winner Rob Krar went out on the course and ran with her the last mile to the track. He told me there were hills in that last mile where he had walked the day before while in the lead that she ran. If she would have slowed just a few seconds to walk she would not have made the cut off!
Check out the video of her finish, truly inspiring!
Friday Sept. 18 is going to be an exciting day for Heather! This is the opening day for her age group for those who have qualified for Boston. If Heather makes it in to Boston I say we call another recovery night to celebrate!
October is gonna be a really busy month for alot of Renegades.
John is up first Oct. 4 as he is running his first marathon in Corning New York at the Wineglass Marathon.
Heather and Nadine are running the Vulture Bait 25k Trail race Oct. 17.
Tony and Angela are running their first marathon in Toronto at the Scoitia Bank Oct. 18.
The rest of us are all heading to Niagara Falls Oct. 25 to compete in everything from the half to the 5k.
Wow what a busy month and it will be here before you know it!
Since we all have races coming up, we thought that it would be a great time to go through a list of things to do to prepare for your big day.
Try to sleep well many nights leading up to the race. If you have there is no need to worry if you dont sleep well the night of the race. How much sleep you get the night before a race has not been shown to effect race performance so don't worry if your up tossing the night before.
Be sure to do your long runs in the gear, shoes, shirt, shorts, socks you plan to race in. Never try anything new or untested on race day. Its good practice to lay everything out the night before and go through it so you are not scrambling around on race morning.
Have your fueling and drinking strategy for the race figured out on your long runs also. Again never try anything new on race day.
Days before my first half marathon, I was reading an article in Runners World about the great marathoner Dathan Ritzenhein. He made the claim that he mixed Red Bull and Gatorade as his drink of choice during the marathon. Well if it was good enough for him it would be awesome for me! I made sure I picked up those drinks on my way to the race never having tried it during my long runs. Wow what a mistake! I had a terrible upset stomach half way into that race that just made things miserable.
During the last three days, concentrate on eating carbohydrate-rich foods, such as pasta, potatoes, bread, fruit and fruit juice, low-fat milk and yogurt and low-fat treats. What's important is increasing the percentage of your calories that come from carbs, not simply eating more of everything. Since you'll be tapering and expending fewer calories, you don't have to consume a great deal more food than usual. Rather, make sure your food choices are carbohydrate-rich, not full of fat–for example, spaghetti with red sauce, instead of Alfredo sauce, or a bagel versus a croissant.
The role of your pre-race breakfast is to top up your liver glycogen stores and maintain your blood glucose level. Your pre-race breakfast should typically contain 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrates and be low in fat and fiber with a moderate level of protein. Several studies have found improved endurance performance after pre-race meals with a low glycemic index; however, this seems somewhat variable between athletes and personal food preferences and tolerance seem to be the most important factors. If the race is early in the morning or you are too nervous to eat, then a high carbohydrate sports drink or liquid meal replacement is a good option.
How long before the race you should eat depends on how much and what foods you will eat, and your individual tolerance. For most runners, a light breakfast two-and-a-half to three hours before the race is fine. Again practice this on the days before your long runs.
Its good to set two goals before a race. Review your training, talk to your coaches and set one goal for a good race day, and another as a backup plan in case it's hot or windy or you're just not feeling great. So many things can go wrong in a longer race that you need that secondary goal to stay motivated if things aren't perfect, which they seldom are. Your primary goal is the one you've been working toward during your buildup: a personal best, qualifying for Boston, breaking five hours, whatever. Your secondary goal should keep you motivated on a bad day: finishing in the top 50 percent of your age group, slowing only 10 minutes over the second half, or just reaching the darn finish line.
Be sure to warm up before your race. The purpose of warming up is to prepare your body to run at race pace. The shorter the race, the more important this is since the physiological demands are higher and there isnt time to gradually build up to race pace. There are also psychological benefits from a warm up routine, which help you remain relaxed and confident. If in doubt see Coach Cal for a warmup routine for your race distance.
Most mistakes in a race are made at the beginning. Coach Jack Daniels tells us to start out slower than race pace and not get caught up in the excitement of the start. Conserve your energy especially in longer races. Take care of everything you can thats in your control, expect things to go wrong during the race and be ready to react and problem solve on the fly.
Here is a great video that I took of Jack a few weeks ago at his coaching clinic explaining how he got into the Olympics. Sorry for the poor quality, the message he gives is great! Enjoy!