Going into any race, I like to have a game plan. This is a little break down of the things I mentally & physically prep the week of a race.
Course – hopefully you have an idea of this a little before race week, but if not, take the time to look at the course. Not only should you know the main details, start time, location, etc. Know the elevation of the course. Brooklyn is a net downhill run, but that doesn’t mean it’s all one slopping decline. There is a nice hill in prospect park around mile 5 and some other minor rollers in the first half and the finish is up a ramp onto the boardwalk. Be ready for these and don’t burn yourself out not knowing your elevation (you can burn yourself out up the ramp, you’re done shortly after there!), this is a great course to get negative splits on because once you’re out of the park it’s a gradual downhill towards Coney Island.
Link to last years race on Strava (includes my pace and an elevation chart)
Pace – plan out your attack. I’ll share with you mine: based on my lack of training for this race, I’m not shooting for a PR (unfortunately). But I am planning to run at the best capacity I can, and to do that I know I need to be smart. My longest training run was 9 miles, and just sub 8 min. miles (vs the 7:12 min pace I ran the bk half in last year). My plan of attack is to keep the first 8 miles relatively easy, however nothing slower than a 9 min mile. I haven’t run on fresh legs in a while, looking forward to that feeling. When I get to the last 5 miles, the race will start in my mind. Up to that point it’s a controlled run, making sure I don’t burn out.
Travel – parking in Brooklyn is especially challenging, and if you live in NYC or the Burroughs, weekends are always filled with subway construction and delayed trains. Plan out your transportation before the morning of, look into possible delays and know where you’re going. Last thing you want is the stress of being late or possibly missing a race you’ve trained for.
Clothing – most of you know this. Know what you’ll wear. Don’t try out anything new, and equally important, know where you need to put your body glide!
Food – another one you probably know. Know what you’ll eat, I always make oatmeal the night before so all I have to do is wake up and pop it in the microwave, make coffee and my breakfast is done in 10 minutes. Same goes for pre-race dinners. I know greasy food bothers me, I don’t overload on cheese, etc, the night before a run. Know what works, don’t get crazy.
Port-a-potties – I bring those little packs of tissues with me to races…. Just in case… You know why.
Post Race Fun – I love to celebrate after a race! Whether it’s just brunch and a mimosa after a race with the hubby or a full on post race outing, I love my reward bash. I think mid-run of what kind of beer I’ll have when I’m done and the faster I’m done the faster I can have that beer. Find what works for you. Is it a good meal, a beer, a pair of new sneakers or heels you’ve been eyeing? Pick a reward that motivates you and you can focus on that instead of the pain, a carrot at the end of a stick.
Any other good tips, would love to hear them. Good Luck to everyone running!!!