This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
Saturday, I ran a race. I wasn’t really race ready. I feel like my general fitness is pretty good right now but I haven’t done enough race specific workouts for my race fitness to be ready.
So why did I do this race? Because I needed some practice before my important races.
Racing is different than even the hardest workouts. While workouts are good opportunities to practice the skills we will bring to racing, no workout takes you to the place a race will. As a result, there are simply some things that can’t be practiced any time other than on a race day.
From how to handle lining up pre-race to how you respond when someone near you does something unexpected to knowing when you can kick with all you have without fear of running out of gas before the finish line and so many things in between, the only real way to develop the skills needed for race day is to get real world practice.
So sign up for a few races. If you have a goal race planned for this fall, sign up for a few summer races. Even if you’re not in peak shape for those summer races, you will gain experience that will allow you to perform even better when the goal race comes around in the fall.