Pacing important as we jog into warmer weather

David Yon, April 1, 2021

This past weekend’s warmer temperatures, by no means real summer, were rough enough to remind us that summer is coming. Being willing to slow down a bit while adjusting and staying hydrated are critical to staying healthy.

It is amazing how fast a lack of fluids can leave us dehydrated and susceptible to injury. Saturday’s run started at 70 degrees and went up from there. The good news for now, however, is the lows return to the 30s and 40s this week. That should keep the deer fly in hiding for a while.

Races have been few and far between but hopefully we are on the verge of seeing racing become routine again. So, it is a good time to remember some keys to good racing.

An article by Alex Hutchinson, author of the book ‘Endure,’ published in Runner’s World last summer is filled with good training advice. While the article identifies five roadblocks to racing well (‘I can’t catch my breath,’ ‘I am running harder, but I am not speeding up,’ ‘My legs are on fire,’ ‘I can hardly lift my legs, and ‘I give up’) and how to get better at conquering them all of which is worth reading.

I want to focus on the first challenge, ‘I can’t catch my breath.’

I understand that roadblock very well. It can happen almost anytime but for purposes of this article it occurs when a runner starts too fast without properly warming up.

Hutchinson is right when he states the first rep of an interval workout often seems the hardest.

While parts of the mind and body are ready to go right away, some key processes take time to warm up and operate efficiently.

If you ‘go’ too soon your body will begin draining resources too soon and inefficiently, like a car spitting and back firing down the road.

The warm-up also depends in part on the distance of the race. The shorter the race the more important the warm-up and the more intense the warm-up needs to be.

It is much better to line up on the starting line with the carburetor and timing belt adjusted and tuned for smooth take off. The key is to arrive at the start warmed up, but not tired. It is, however, easy to underperform on the warm-up or to avoid it. One must arrive early and then endure extra pain.

There is a natural tendency to ‘save it for the race.’ Hutchison asked Andrew Jones, Ph.D. and a professor of Applied Physiology in the Department of Health and Sciences at the University of Exeter, who recommends priming the pump. For a 5K he recommends including ‘bursts of 45 – 60 seconds.’ I would add that four repeats during a 20-minute warm up should work.

These are only recommendations as to times and distances. The concept is sound, it is up to you to figure out what works best. Summertime racing and running are never easy.

Of course, I am finding the need to start slow becoming stronger and taking longer each race. Finding the line between warm up and worn out is the challenge.

FEATURES

Together Again

It has been a long time (20 years) since either Mary Jean or I have not spent time on Esplanade Way in the SouthWood State Office complex on Thanksgiving morning. Turkey Trot has a cadre of dedicated volunteers who can say the same thing, as can hundreds, maybe...

Holiday Lights Run

Join us in our annual series of social runs to Dorothy B. Oven Park. NOTE: We are joining the #workaddicts near Fleet Feet since Winthrop Park is totally closed off. Please do not park next to Fleet Feet. Save that parking for their customers. Dates – five consecutive...

Turkey Trot Festival Returns to Goodwood

The Turkey Trot Festival is back at Goodwood Museum and Gardens, 1600 Miccosukee Rd., Tallahassee. The Turkey Trot Festival has always been the most fun way to register for Turkey Trot and this year promises to be a good one after COVID shut the Festival down last...

It is Time to Talk Turkey

The calendar is now open to the month of November and the days are flying by.  That means all things in the Yon house are Turkey Trot related. Thanksgiving falls on the 25th of November this year.  That is less than three weeks, maybe two by the time you read this...

An Evening with Felton Wright

What: An Evening with Felton Wright, 50 Marathons in 50 States When: Friday, November 5, 2021 at 5:30 PM Where: Raymond C. Sittig Hall,301 S Bronough St, Tallahassee, FL, 32301 Whether you've already run 50 marathons in 50 states, you're thinking about it, or you just...

Marathon Dreams

​“There he is,” someone shouted. I think Bonnie Wright was the first to spot him. Sure enough, I could see that little left-right sway making its way toward the finish line of the Atlantic City Marathon in the state of New Jersey. The end of a 46-year journey. Felton...

Pine Run Directors Extend Stewardship of Race, Land

Please be advised the Pine Run 20K is not a flat fast 5K. There are many who never went to Southlands Experiment Forest (home of the race from 1977 until 2006) and will never go to Tall Timbers Research Station (current home of the race) to run this race. For most,...

Race with a View

Tallahassee triathletes brave Utah mountains for Ironman Don’t be scared — it is just wind, rain and hail on a mountain. • St. George, Utah, is approximately 2,024 miles as the car drives from Tallahassee, Florida. The terrain in the two cities is remarkably...

Scarecrows in the Garden

Scarecrow assembly social on Saturday, September 25, from 5-7, at Vicky Droze's backyard patio. Food and drink provided. Please RSVP., vickydroze@comcast.net, by September 20 if you plan to eat or drink. Our scarecrow will be entered in Maclay Garden's scarecrow in...