My coach used to tell me to race myself into shape. I would shy away from racing till I felt I was great physical condition and ready to really hammer out a fast time. Turns out, he was right.
I listened to him (every once in a while) and would go ahead and sign up for local area road races and just run as fast and hard as I could. Only to realize in the end, I was actually following his training plan exactly.
Racing myself into shape was the best way to get a solid, honest assessment of my fitness level. We'd use it to see where I was in terms of training, all the science behind it (like knowing your VO2 max), and setting goals for future races. Plus it was fun and good to have some competition, or company along the way. By the time I got to the big race and toed the line, I was race ready.
Several Virginia State Parks hold races year-round
The Howlin' Coyote 10k at Caledon State Park is that race! It starts this Saturday, September 29th at 9:30 a.m.
This is a unique trail race, with a smaller crowd and a lot of fun going on afterwards. The race is timed by our friends with Race Timing Unlimited, and supported by avid runners that know what makes a great race themselves...because they're runners too.
With Caledon hosting its first ever trail race; think of it as a season debut. We're planning on a field of less than 100 runners, but hoping for much more. It's the nature of the sport to wait till the last minute to register- I'm a runner, I know this. However, a lot of times, this leaves us the excuse to "no-show" and completely miss our run for the entire day. Don't be that guy (or gal)! Pre- register for the race. Pay your money, get your tshirt, hold yourself accountable, and when you cross that finish line you'll be glad you did it.
A medal will be given to each participant of the Howlin' Coyote 10k
When I would sign up for the smaller races there was never that nervous gut feeling of worry and the "unknown". You can register race day (against my recommendations but optional), pick up your bib on the spot, no lines, no worries about getting a good start, no parking issues, people aren't pushing and clipping your heels for the first hundred meters, and typically you can run a fast time because it's less crowded. Just show up, run, eat free food, and go home! (Which by the way, we will be serving some delicious chili and other food and beverages). Plus there's the added benefit of seeing some familiar faces to help with the pre-race jitters.
On the contrary, the big competitive races where you have to wait in line to get your bib, maybe even hotel accommodations overnight ($$), getting to the start line is like an obstacle course, and if it's cold out you have to stand in place till the gun goes off for several minutes (not exactly performance enhancing). Now, I love a big competitive race more than anybody! However, gearing up for the big race was what was important.
Visit the Pretty Muddy website here
Gear up for 'Pretty Muddy Women's Mud Run' at Pocahontas State Park, October 20th!
So start now, look up a new, different kind of race (such as this one) and put them on your calendar leading up to the big one. Gearing up for that marathon this fall (or winter or next spring) means putting in the work now! Race yourself into shape. Get out there and give your legs a break from the everyday pavement pounding routine. You'll find that a trail race differs from a road race, but this is very good for us runners. It breaks up the monotony mentally, and physically. Challenge your body, keep things fresh and exciting, and try something new. Now stop making excuses, as Nike would say...Just do it. And don't forget to register- TODAY.
Race start time is Sept. 29 at 9:30 a.m. Registration is $25. Online registration is open now, or complete and download a form and mail it in or drop it off at the Caledon's Visitor Center. Same day registration is available starting at 8 am.