Major Pittsburgh road races returned to a live start line last Friday with the Fleet Feet Liberty Mile. We all love the dynamic environment this race provides, but runners compete for different reasons. Whether you are chasing after the finishers medal, a personal best time or the runner ahead of you, racing provides an experience that cannot be replicated during training.
Does the adrenaline take over, and shoot you out of the corral? Do you go with the pack when the leader surges, or stick to your splits? While training parameters can be meticulously curated, a racing environment introduces different variables. This is known as the “crucible of racing.” Often, our best-laid plans go out the window at the sound of the starting pistol.
How can you prepare for the ambiguity of a race if you cannot simulate it in training? By racing more frequently. Putting yourself in this environment allows you to better understand, and respond to, the demands of the big day. Every event doesn’t need to be a big PR; you can benefit greatly simply by immersing yourself regularly. Competing more frequently will alleviate the nerves that are a part of race day, while allowing you to practice the skills necessary to successfully achieve your goals.