Know Thy Course

997725_10101358484902303_210800078_oI recently paced my sister in a Half Marathon (her first race ever!), and you experience a race very differently when pacing than you do when racing.

One thing that I noticed: many runners on the course didn’t know the race course! They listened carefully to my advice I was spewing out to my sister, to keep her prepared for what was next. Many, when faced when an unexpected hill, would completely crumble.

Yes, ignorance can sometimes be bliss, but as a runner, ignorance is just plain dumb and poor planning. If you have a goal race, regardless of distance, STUDY that race course!!!!! There are NO EXCUSES for not knowing the course (race websites will have it posted, and you can always look up info), and it is for your benefit. The only time you won’t know the elevation may be on a new race course, though a map and mile markers will still be available to study.

As my sister and I turned the corner around the 12.5 mile mark, and were faced with a long, hard hill (longer than Heartbreak Hill, for example), runners around us stopped, walked, sighed, doubled-over, and gave in to the race course. If they had done their research, they may have still struggled physically, but mentally they would have been prepared.

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