By Jeff Gaudette;
Read More at http://www.runnersworld.com
Elite Sharpening: Top runners seek a balance on the day before a race.
a 1:13 half marathoner and Olympic marathon trials qualifier,
underscores the importance of experimenting with what works for you.
Crouch performs a shakeout run of about 75 percent of her normal
easy-day mileage two days prior to race day and then a shorter run with 2
x 1-minute and 2 × 30-second surges the day before to help her feel
"I've tried many different approaches in the last two days [before a race]. Too little running and I feel stale, too much and I don't have that certain 'pop' in my legs, so I try to balance those two during the last two days."NEELY SPENCE GRACEY, who boasts a 15:27 5K PR and has run 32:16 for 10,000m, likes to do a non-timed, easy shakeout run (about 8 miles) two days before the race to help mitigate the impact of travel. The day before a race, she runs about 50 percent of her usual daily mileage (4–6 miles) with some light strides. Her main priority in the final two days is to relax and let her training do the racing for her.
"The biggest thing I have learned as a runner is that going with the flow and being flexible is a key component to success. There are so many things we cannot control, so it's all about handling the chaos of travel and the stress of competition using the least amount of energy."NICK ARCINIAGA, seventh-place finisher at the 2014 Boston Marathon in 2:11:47, focuses on reducing pre-race nerves and trying to get his legs to feel "snappy" in the final days before a race.
Arciniaga does a short run (for him, about 8 miles) two days before to shake out the travel while loosening his legs, and an easy run with four to six strides the day before to stimulate the neuromuscular system.