Every runner has a bad day once in a while, but if you are finding that despite training well, you keep not getting it right on race day, the question that you need to ask yourself is:
What play keeps getting me snookered?
There are many factors involved in having a great race. To help you narrow down where you could be making mistakes, I have listed a few common snooker questions that you can ask yourself:
- Are you practicing your race nutrition (fuel and hydration) strategy in training? And at race effort? (Training your gut)
- What are you eating the day before and how does that compare to how you ate before training runs where you felt strong/weak?
- Do you eat too little in your taper for fear of gaining weight?
- Do you overeat the day before?
- Are you eating enough/too much on the morning of the race?
- Do you factor in that you probably get up earlier for a race than training and have the long wait on the start line, so burn extra energy?
- Do you stick to the plan or keep trying new magic gels you bought at race expo?
- Is your goal pace realistic relative to your training paces and times over recent time tests/races?
- Do you even know your pace?
- Have you worked out a realistic pace plan that takes the nature of the course and weather conditions into account?
- Are you unknowingly being swept along with the crowd at too fast a pace in the beginning?
- Do you get psyched up by the crowd and suddenly start thinking you are a Kenyan and set a new unrealistic goal?
- Do you start too far back and keep losing time fighting the crowds in the first km’s?
- Do you have a strategy or just go with the flow?
- Do you have your own plan or are you following someone else’s?
- Do you have a plan B?
- Do you focus on the end result or the process of the plan in your race?
- Does your training condition you for the specific demands of the race (distance, course profile, pace…)?
- Do you allow enough time for your body to recover from the hard training before the race?
- Have you been in the valley of fatigue so long you don’t even know you are there?
- Do you do so little in the week leading up to the race that you always feel sluggish?
- Are you always overthinking the race and using up too much nervous energy?
- Are you conditioned for the specific demands of the race?
- Do you have a muscle weakness that you need to address? (Cramping is mostly the result of fatigue in the muscle)
Hope these questions help. If you are still struggling to pin down what is getting you down, then please pop me a mail and hopefully I can help.