If you have recently done a race you will now be in recovery mode… or at least you should be!
So you will have some extra time and my suggestion is that you speed up your progress curve by being aware of what you learned about yourself in the race.
There is always a lot of nonsense written about how you become a better person by doing ultra races – how you get to know yourself better.
However, I do believe you become a better ultra and mountainrunner through your training and your learn more about yourself as a runner. I also believe you can speed up your progress if you capitalise on this – be very aware about what you learned and remember it for your next race.
Therefore it is a good idea to take notes and ask yourself the following questions:
How did your tapering go – did you feel fresh filled with energy on the start line and the days leading up to the race day?
If not – have a look at your tapering.
Did your gear work as it should?
Shoes and socks – did you think about your shoes during the race, and in the worst case – did you get blisters? If not – write down what you did that worked.
If you did get blisters, make sure you take the basic precautions next time:
A. Use some anti-chafing cream.
B. Wear good socks you are familiar with – a pair you have trained in over a long distance.
C. Cut your toe-nails and use a nail file so your nails will not hit the front of your shoe when you run downhill.
Backpack and hydration system – did you spend time thinking about it during the race? If not, it was perfect. Otherwise use your training to improve the backpack and your hydration system. Don’t wait for the next race and do the same again.
Clothes – any chafing? How can you prevent this from happening? Use Vaseline or other anti-chafing creams. Possibly change your clothing choice.
Did you experience any lows during the race? If so, consider what could explain it. Think about how the low point started and whether you could have done something to prevent it. Nutrition? Hydration? Heat management?
Ask yourself how you got through it and capitalise on the positive points.
When you have answered all these questions you can prepare for the next race with this knowledge. Go through your next race. Study the profile from checkpoint to checkpoint. Think about how you will manage your race so you do better than the last time. Use your experience and speed up your progress!
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