First Race Jitters: Race Strategy

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all having a great 2016! It’s crazy how time flies and I know I haven’t done an update in a long time! Sorry about that but I hope you are all enjoying the Feature Fridays, featuring some of the amazing athletes at Altis! From here on out I will be doing updates once every two weeks. I am also considering doing weekly or bi-weekly workout tips and advice post separately. Comment on this post or my Facebook to let me know if that is something you all would be interested in!

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Workout Update:

Training is going very well! I did have a minor setback during the month of November (I know so long ago!). I ended up hurting my right knee. We believe it was from a weight room technique that my body did not respond well to and over time the muscles in my knee became weak. The upside to this injury was that it reintroduced me to mediation and I learned different ways to mediate and how different vibrations can affect the human body. It also put me back in a position where I really had to have faith and depend on God. Just another one of his magnificent testimonies in my life!

For six weeks, I was on what they call “Plan B” which largely consisted of bike, the curve (a curved treadmill that has a track surface and operates off of your movement), rehab (that included a specialized weights program) and drills. After a painfully boring 6 weeks, I begin what we called “Plan A-” which was basically me transitioning back to the track workouts, so I would do customized workouts that had both elements of Plan A (what the group was doing) and Plan B. And before I knew it I was back in action!

Crazy enough, even with my setback when I came back to the track it only took about a week or two for me to start performing really well. It was almost as if I never had a set back at all. And comparing my workout times now to my times in previous years (a great reason to keep a track journal) I am actually faster! I’m unsure if it is because this past summer I was doing a lot of base work and exercising, before I knew if I would be accepted to Altis or not, and it carried over or if it is because the 6 weeks before I had the setback I was really strong or if the Plan B stuff actually worked and I maintained good fitness or if it was simply God’s grace. Whatever it was I came back stronger than when I left. And I was even asked to race this past weekend on our 4×4, only about 6 weeks post my injury!

12630812_742580665841836_1422940433_oFirst Race Jitters

It doesn’t matter if you an Olympic champion or an average middle school athlete, the first race of the year always fills you with nervous and jitters. It is the gift and curse of being an athlete. You like the jitters but you are so nervous you feel a little sick. I remember in college before I ran either hurdle race, I would not be able to do a run out over the hurdles before the race because of my nervous. I remember looking at all the hurdles and feeling as if there was no way I could make it through but something happens when that gun goes off; all the jitters and nervous disappear and magic happens.

I had a similar experience this weekend. This was an indoor outdoor meet. Which means you run the same races as an indoor track meet but on an outdoor track and the times are converted. Before my race, I was extremely nervous! I was unsure if I was really ready to run and if God forbid my knee did not respond well and I set it back again. And of course it was my first race in almost 2 years! So, I wasn’t sure if I “still had it,” even though my practices were going well, you never really know until you get on the line! It was almost surreal, I guess a part of me thought that they wouldn’t actually let me run but when we were on the track and our first leg was in the blocks, it hit me! The 2016 season is finally here!

My race went smooth and I practiced a new strategy that I had been contemplating for a while and been tinkering with at practice. My whole focus was to execute my new strategy. I’ve always struggled running the open 400m, I just never could figure out how to run it. The 400m hurdles are just sooo much easier for me, so the thought occurred “why not run the open 400 like you run the hurdles” without the elongated stride of course. And when I got the baton that’s exactly what I did and it worked! I ran a great split (only .40 from my open 400 personal best), the race was a lot easier, our relay team won the meet, and we all did well! I, however, will not be competing this indoor season so my next meet won’t be until sometime in April but it felt great to be back competing again and I know 2016 is going to be my best year yet! 🙂

Check out the race below!

12637230_742580675841835_81457134_oAdvice to Young Athletes:

My advice to young athletes is to continue to try new strategies. It is so easy to get locked into what you always do and what seems to work for you but you never know what works until you try something new. Talk with your coach about ways to improve your race strategy and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Obviously, this is something you want to work on in the beginning of the season, at small meets,and/or at practice. The last thing you want to do is try a strategy that hasn’t been tested at a large competition (unless it is absolutely necessary)! The point is to never become complacent because you never know what works until you do it, especially when you are young and just starting to figure out your event. Keep an open mind and you never know where it might take you!

12637197_742580599175176_1281821073_oWorkout Tips:

This week’s theme is strategy and it can be applied to working out and/or getting in shape too! Having a strategy when working out is great because you know exactly what you are doing and why. Everyone has goals they want to achieve but sometimes people fail to figure out how they are going to achieve them or they don’t know what works for them. Just like a track athlete has a race strategy to reach their time goal, a person should have strategy to reach their fitness goal! Coming up with a strategy could be as simple as time commitment or as complexed as the specific exercises that will help you reach your goal. But no matter what your strategy is, it should evolve as you reach each milestone or when you figure out it isn’t working. Don’t get stuck in a rut or doing the same things over and over that doesn’t work. You have to break the mold and keep striving otherwise it will be very easy to fall off the wagon. Don’t be afraid to rework your strategy as often as you need to!

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Once again thank you for stopping by! See you next week! Please feel free to like, comment, and share! 

Want me to discuss a topic?? Let me know by commenting below!

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