AD/ By Rachel Grunwell (Rotorua Marathon run ambassador, coach, 25 x marathoner, and a chick who loves to run (mostly to the freezer for ice-cream, or “run away” on run trips with girlfriends shhhhhhhh don’t tell anyone)
You can improve your run performance through consistency, speed-work, doing this sport over time, fuelling your body right and getting enough sleep… those kinds of things.
Heck throw in some beetroot powder, blackcurrant powder, hot/cold therapy, compression tights and yin yoga too for good measure if you are really into trying all you can to boost your run performance.
We can also boost our run performance through learning from our run mates’ mistakes. Seriously. Ask your run friends for some anecdotes of their past run failures and it will give you a good list of things not to repeat. Learn form their mistakes! Also, you’ll get a good belly laugh out of the (often cringe-worthy) stories.
I asked some run-inspired girlfriends to weigh in on this topic. So, some of the tips below are from me, while others are from some of my epic run girlfriends. Share some of your own run mistakes in the comments below too to help fellow runners out! Come on, don’t keep your run mistakes to yourself; Share them for others to laugh at – I mean, er learn from…. 🙂
- Pin your run number to your t-shirt well ahead of the race – don’t leave it to the second the start gun goes and end up fumbling around for a few minutes trying to sort that basic stuff out! Those few minutes you spent fumbling might be the few precious minutes that your mate beat you in the race by – and it will be your own stupid fault.
- Break in any new run gear – and especially shoes – weeks ahead of race day. Otherwise you’ll likely end up swearing over the chaffing. And chaffing can happen everywhere: ankles, feet, toes, under arms, and yes even your ass. And it HURTS! God it hurts. Did I mention how much it HURTS!!!
- While we are on the chaffing topic. Use vaseline to stop chaffing on longer runs. Otherwise you WILL whimper when your raw rubbed skin hits the next shower or bath you have – and every shower following for potentially a week later….
- Study the course map. It’s hard to get lost, but you should know your turn points in a course. There is nothing worse than running longer than you have to for that medal.
- Have a pre-race plan to meet up with a mate if you plan to run together. Otherwise good luck in finding your mate amongst thousands of others! If you are like me… I finally found my run mate in a Rotorua Marathon event just a few kilometres from the finish line one year!! It made for a lonely ¾ of the race. So I learnt my lesson hard! However the “up side” was that at least my mate helped drag me to the finish-line at the end when I needed him most! This mate may, or may not, be the Chief Executive of Rotorua Community Hospice… yea Jonathon still laughs at me over that failed run plan (amongst others)…
- Allow plenty of time before the race to account for the loo queue for that last minute wee. You don’t want to be “that person” in the loo queue when the race gun goes. Or worse, have a full bladder while you wince your way through the first few miles and then, finally, spot a loo that has a queue a mile long with others who have made the same run mistake.
- Test new energy gels BEFORE race day. Otherwise pooping could be a problem.
- Don’t go out running too fast too soon – or you will finish the race crying and crawling. Pace yourself. Plan to run the last kilometres strong and you’ll finish with a smile.
- Slow down for race pictures and smile when you see a race camera out on the course (and pretend for a moment you are enjoying the event even if you aren’t!) People who look good in their race pictures have mastered this trick. The rest of us look like we are hunched over crazies with maddened looks glued to our faces. ie NOT pretty (or handsome).
- Don’t wear light coloured shorts or tights. They show up mud, (awkward sweat), awkward non-sweat, mud, and if it rains… it looks like awkward non-sweat…
- This post is kindly sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon event. I’m a proud run ambassador for NZ’s most iconic – and one of the longest running – run events in this country. Enter a distance and be part of this epic event – there’s a 5km, 10km, 21km, or 42km distance to choose from Enter HERE