I love this time of year. Several thousand people around the area will complete half or full marathons over the next month. Those crack-of-dawn long runs to avoid the heat, those sweaty, muscle-burning track workouts, the painful (but necessary) foam rolling to keep injuries at bay all culminate in top fitness just as the autumn chill kisses the air. Seeing the rewards is what makes it all worth it.
While working with the FLEET FEET Training Team at their last track workout of the season, I was reminded just how great it feels to be fit and ready to race. Several of our athletes couldn't hit their goal pace—not because the pace felt too fast, but because it felt too slow. Even though they tried to back off the throttle, they were still speeding ahead. The speed came without effort. My response: "Sometimes you're full of run and you’ve just gotta let the legs roll."
“Full of run” is something I've said for years to explain that perfect day when the ground floats several feet beneath you. It's as if you're flying without trying. “Full of run” days are so few and far between we must enjoy and embrace them when they come.
The goal of training is to have race day be one of those of days. Just as iron sharpens iron, training has hardened you like steel. Now is the time to taper and give your body some gas so it's full of run on race day.
Solid training transforms us into finely-tuned machines, prepared to tackle the endeavors before us. Training gives us a strength of energy and strength of will like we've rarely (or never) felt before. And, ideally, our mental state matches our physical preparedness, reaching peak confidence on race day.
As Shakespeare wrote, "Now bid me run and I will strive with things impossible." The training is done. You're full of run. Now go enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Tim Cary is FLEET FEET's Assistant Training Manager, coach of the FLEET FEET-sponsored Runnababez Elite team, and manager of the FLEET FEET Racing Team. Over his 20 years of coaching, Tim has coached athletes to three national team championships, five national individual championships, two national records, and numerous All-American and All-State honors. Click here to receive Tim's weekly article via email.