When participating in a Running Race of any length, there are a few “Danger Days”. Days in which certain activities or lack of them can have negative effects to Race Day performance. Today is 2 days away from the Pistol 50k on January 2nd.
2 days away from Race Day is dangerous because there’s volatile mixture of excitement and anxiety. This can lead to making some bad choices, or being unaware of being in an unwanted situation. It can result in unwanted soreness in the legs, which would peak on Race Day.
Training wise, running the last few days before a race, you only expose yourself to injury than gain any physical conditioning. However, running the week of race isn’t for the legs or lungs but for the brain. It acts like a sedative with the intent to reduce some of the anxiety and increase confidence.
In general, most training programs have something called “The Taper”. It is a deliberate reduction in mileage during the last stage of training. The idea is that it gives the body time to heal and strengthen without compromising conditioning. This way, on Race Day, you’ll be strong in the ways of
The Force conditioning.
The side effect of this strategy is called “Taper Madness”, a psychological condition in which doubt begins to take over thinking. “How can I be ready for the race, if I’m running less?” or “Why even run? It is only __ miles”
The best countermeasure to Taper Madness, is to run. At 2 Days Out, you can’t “Go for Throttle Up” or “Pass the Milk, I’m eating this hill for breakfast”. It needs to be calm, smooth, relaxed, with just a small touch of speed tossed in for those faster twitch muscles.
Today, I’m planning on running a little to easy my nerves. I’m a little scared because I’ve been calmer than I anticipated I would be given the distance (50k/31miles) and the fact that I’m running it memory of James Rich #WarriorMode. Strange things have happened before.