Monday, April 4, 2011

Lessons from the Front Pack

I don't mean to brag but on Saturday I did a 1 hour and 13 minute half marathon. Way faster than my previous best time, so much faster that I am rethinking what I stated as my finishing time for that half I am signed up for in June. Now I am thinking that all those other buffoons in the 1:40 and under corral are really going to impede my forward progress.

Since many of you haven't had the experience of laying down such a fine pace I thought I would share some of the insight I gained being in the front pack. Firstly, if you aren't breathing hard, you aren't working hard enough. I noticed the runners around me were not chatting with one another, they were barely eeking out what they wanted to the volunteers at the aid stations. Very monosyllabic in their conversation skills actually. If you do speak, do not speak to your fellow competitors. Also, it doesn't matter if your family, even your children are cheering you from the sidelines, you do not lose your focus. Keep your eyes straight ahead, do not address them, heck, don't even acknowledge them. Therefore, in future races I will not stop to pet the dog, or my husband! Your footfalls should almost be silent and you should be in unison with those around you, synchronized running if you will. Do not show you are tiring, if you are fading make a charge at the front to trick those around you. It is best to go through the aid station first, if you are first you can get what you want and you don't get a half drank cup of cola tossed in your direction. If by any chance you can't keep up make sure you fall off dramatically and then when you drop out, do not just walk back to the start area. Get yourself in a prone position on the ground as quickly as possible. You don't want anyone to think you are just quiting, make sure they know it was a nuclear type implosion! When you are ready to make your move and switch into your fast gear, choose the spot wisely. Note where your competition falters slightly and attack them there. DO NOT LOOK BACK, and do not slow down.

Mostly, when you are in a pack of such fine runners, enjoy the view. I know I did, and I wasn't even breathing hard at all. It seemed like a rather pedestrian pace from the saddle of my bicycle as I led the pro men on the run at the Oceanside half ironman. I've never enjoyed that run course more!

1 comment:

  1. ha! great post. I read an interview with Andy Potts who said he could only mutter 'my man' to his son as he passed him.