COACH’S CORNER: Practice makes perfect

BY GERMAN MEDRAZO

We train to race!

From the day we commit to run a marathon until the day of the race, or any big project in our lives for that mater, every morning when we wake up our mind immediately shifts toward that goal. How long am I running today? At what time? Are my socks clean? What if I can get off work early and run in the afternoon? I’m ready! Am I?

Endless questions plague our minds, while the soul remains fixed on one goal only. We must tune our minds and souls to prepare and be ready for that day. Every training run, every day at the gym and every time we are planning to go out and train we need to focus on one thing and one thing only: Race Day!

Practice makes perfect. But more than that: execution is only possible after planning and practice become one, after mind and body merge into one goal. Greatness is achieved through years of dedication but more so through years of careful planning and execution.

If we are planning on racing at a certain pace, but we never ran at that pace, if we plan to eat so many calories during the race but we never trained eating them. We are just not going to be able to do it on race day. Or even worse, what if that pace was too fast or too slow, or those calories too much or not enough? You’ll never know until you plan and execute, then analyze, plan again and execute again and then again and again until it becomes second nature.

So drink water every mile, just like you will on race day at every aid station, or — if you prefer — every other mile. But practice it on every training run so you are ready to do it under pressure on race day. If one energy gel per hour is your plan, practice it, and make sure that’s what works best. Same with pre-training breakfast and dinner. Train to eat your breakfast at a certain time and make sure it feels good on every training run, then do the same on race morning. Practice starting your runs a bit slower and building up your pace as you would do normally on race day.

Plan to do some smaller races and treat them as your BIG race, wear the shoes and clothes, try the paces and nutrition and make sure everything works well.

And when the day finally arrives and you are standing on the starting line, there will be no doubts in your mind, no questions, only that fire burning, that will and desire to conquer, to achieve greatness. The certainty that you’ve done this a thousand times and all you have to do is: just do the same one more time and forever enjoy the glory of that moment you’ve trained so hard for!

So go out there and run, smile. But make sure it’s all part of a master plan that will deliver you to the finish line. And to one of the most glorious days of any human being, the day you accomplish one of your dreams!

God bless and see ya’ll next week!