Rock And Roll Half Marathon
The rock and roll half marathon racing series is one of the top road running sporting events in the United States and around the world.
I ran my personal best of 1:07:06 at the 2007 Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon and will be going back again this year to take aim at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials standard time of 1:05:00.
The rock and roll half marathon racing series is generally very well run but the logistics of the business is not what we will be discussing.
Runners generally want to know how they can run faster and if not focusing on specific times, how to finish the race.
Here are a few tips to get you to your next rock and roll half marathon event in the best possible shape possible.
1. Stop worrying
Easier said then done but one of the biggest hindrances to any athletes performance is too much worry and concern over performance.
The best performances are done when the least amount of thinking is taking place.
How is it we run so effortlessly in training and then when it comes time for the competition we fall short?
It isn’t like we are doing anything any different in the race as we did in training.
Worrying causes stress and with that causes muscle functioning to be inhibited.
There is good stress and bad stress.
Good stress is being a little nervous before competitions.
Bad stress is second guessing ourselves and beating ourselves up if a workout or race didnt go the way we wanted it to which can dramatically lower athletic performance.
An easy way to be the most effective is to focus on the areas of your training you can control and letting go of any other internal or external concern you have no power over.
Now, why would I have this as the number one way to run a great race at your next rock and roll half marathon event?
It is because running and competing is far more mental then it is physical.
We spend an enormous amount of time physicall training our bodies and far too great a number of beginner to advanced level athletes shoot themselves in the foot focusing too much of their mental energy on what they dont have control over.
We have no control over the weather and after 3 to 4 months of hard training we cannot squeeze in the impossible the week or two before a big race.
I know what I am writing very well because I have made the mistakes and I have seen others pay the price as well.
Stop worrying and remind yourself of your inner power, have confidence in your training and you will be fine.
Focus on healthy living and habits.
2. Cut out the fluff and focus on sharpening your pace
Easy miles are great for recovery and for building strength.
No question about it, they have their place but when it comes to maintaining pace without having to deal with slowing down, we have to focus on making race pace feel as in control as humanely possible.
A sub 4 hour marathoner who can maintain 9:09 per mile pace for 26.2 miles would so well to spend a larger percentage of his or her time training at or below that pace.
I went from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 for the marathon distance by changing up one critical aspect of my training, the pace at which I conducted my long runs.
Do you want to know a great way to PR at your next rock and roll half marathon event?
Spend some of your weekly training mileage at or around your 5K to 10K pace.
It will do wonders for fitness, improve your confidence of being able to train at a much faster pace then you are wanting to race at for 13.1 miles.
Mileage for mileage sake is useless if you are the individual with a specific time goal in mind, which is the case for most runners.
If your goal is just to complete the entire 13.1 mile distance, gradually increasing your weekly mileage and spending a time at a faster pace that you feel comfortable with will do wonders for you.
3. Train hard, win easy
Have you heard this saying before?
It ties into the above mentioned tip but much can be said with this philosophy.
The Kenyans are no different than you or I.
What makes them unique is the extraordinary amount of time they spend training and the speeds at which they train that.
This is what makes them look superior.
If you took your average American and placed him or her in Beijing from a young age they would know nothing about the english language or our culture.
The same goes for any Chinese citizen who was switched at birth and grew up here.
We are products of our environment and most of what we do, think is possible, comes from habits and our surroundings.
If you took a citizen from either of these two areas, placed them in Kenya and they found a love for running, there is a good chance they could become just as good as any Kenyan athlete.
The environment demands it and there is little room for ‘comfort’.
We live in a soft environment, at least here in the United States.
We do not have to walk anywhere for our water.
If we need to commute somewhere it, most often, is not by way of foot but by car or truck.
Take these luxuries away and force the same individual to adopt the same form of lifestyle of the world’s top runners and I guarantee there would be significant improvements in ones cardiovascular strength and endurance.
In closing, while preparing for your first or next rock and roll half marathon keep the above tips in mind.
There are no limits other than the limits we place on ourselves.