A piece of advice that has stuck with me is: You’re probably more ok than you think you are. Basically, it means very seldom will one bad day or a few bad days make or break your entire training regimen. We all have those rough days where running feels really hard, the best thing you can do is shake it off and move onto the next.
– Drew (staffer & WWU track & XC runner, too!)
I’ve learned a lot of little things that have really helped me to gather this great database of things to call on when running races. The most prominent things my high school coach (Kevin) preached to me was to ensure that running was always fun. It’s a lifetime sport and one that can take you to places that the majority of the public never would think to go to!
– Conner (He’s a Sehome XC & Track coach, too!)
Another one I’ll never forget is “Look good, feel good, race good” advice I’ll never forget from one of my assistant coaches in college. He always loved seeing our fun race-day hair-doos, ribbons or “war paint”!
“Compete!!! So many people are focused on this time goals which is great, but sometimes you lose sight of the nature of our sport which is competition. More often than not if you set your sight on winning a race or beating a certain person, the time will come. And even if it does not, you can be satisfied that you accomplished your competition goal and that next time you can maybe aim a bit higher”
– Kaleb (WWU track & XC runner, too!)
When I was competing in track and cross country at Penn State University, my coach, Teri Jordan taught us to break down the mile into 4 laps by the 4 Cs. I use the 4 Cs not only for running a great mile, but also for all races. I mentally break down the race into four sections and focus on each word during each of the sections of the course.
Lap 1 (1st race segment) Control: Keep that first lap under control. When you are jostling for position, hold yourself back a little and look around.
Lap 2 (2nd race segment) Contact: During this second lap, keep in contact with the people in the race. This will help carry you through the race if you are close to them. You can pace off the other runners.
Lap 3 (3rd race segment) Concentrate: The third lap is the one when you’re like, “Why am I doing this?”. This is where you need to stay focused. This is where the pain, the doubt, and negative thought creep in. This is where the true grit emerges.
Lap 4 (final race segment) CICK: Yes, Coach Jordan did use her poetic license and use a C instead of K for this one! When you kick in a race, it means that you use everything you have left in your body to pick up the pace and give it your all ALL THE WAY through the finish line.
– Coach Carol Frazey, TheFitSchool.com
I loved cross country racing and the strategy that came with it. Our home meet was at Lake Padden with it’s rolling hills and curvy sections where you could work to sneakily grow your lead. My high school coach was big on us speeding up as we approached the top of a hill and then bombing down the other side as best we could (and getting out of view of our nearest competitor as we did so). Making a move here could help us put a gap on them before they noticed and hopefully help shake them for the rest of the race.