Tips & Tricks

The Tips of the Sport

1) Make sure to always eat something on race day. Something light, like a slice or two of  toast or a even a bagel ( of your choice, not a greasy one though) with some creamy peanut butter, not crunchy,would  be a great way to start off your meet day. A Powerbar  is another good choice although the taste of them might not always hit the spot. Be sure to drink around  8-10oz of water with  your breakfast 3-4 hours before race time. You don't want to cut it to close to your race because then you might cramp up.

2) Don't just try to avoid soda or sugary drinks on days when you have races just DO avoid them, they will NOT help your performance. Water works best. Even Gatorade should be diluted with water. Did you know that Gatorade isn't helpful unless the race is longer than 1 hour? That because it has so much salt content in it. So I always think that Powerade before and Gatorade after does the trick, It's worked for me for years.

3) All runners have worries about the race in front of them. Every runner on the starting line usually asks themselves, "does my ankle hurt?", "is my knee aching again?" or "oh i think i am getting a cold,  should I just drop out of this race?" Don't worry - when you out-sprint another runner to the finish, somehow, that all seems to go away.Really it does, it's honestly proven to be true 100% of the time. Even when you feel down and out, you must go out and still give your best 100%, no if and or buts about it!

4) Before your races try to relax (relax). Yes, Relax. Repeat to your self, "I'm strong, I'm fast, I'm well trained" - repeat this in your head again and again. Pretty soon you'll start to feel better. If that doesn't work, scream really loud and start to wave your arms and jump in place. You won't run any faster, but you'll definitely feel better and most likely feel not as tense.

5) The First half of a race is the most poorly ran, as said by most coaches, and athletes on the professional level. Some go out too fast, some too slow, and maybe there are a select few who are so dedicated that they spent all there time focusing on the start rather then the finish. But Understand this- the success of your race isn't determined by how you start, but how you finish. It's the 2nd half that counts. Attitude counts!  Keep your thoughts high, and your mind free. Remember the track season is a race itself, so finish stronger at the end then you did at the start of the season.

6) After your performance(s), assess what you did well not what you didn't do so well on. Under-achieving athletes  almost ALWAYS focus on what they didn't do correctly. High achieving athletes  focus on what went right and can't wait to repeat it because it makes them feel great! Even if your run is less than optimal performance, always find what you did correct, and focus on that! There is always at least one thing you did great on in your race, whether it was how you controlled your breathing, your steps over the hurdles, anything.

6.5) If you are one of the people who like to  choose to focus on what went wrong, here is what you can and should  do: Make two lists, the First list is of the things that you can control, while the 2nd list is of the things you can't control. Now, key word Now, Throw the 2nd list out. Now take a look at what you're left with (First list). That's my friend is where the true work lies! The work of success.

7) If you have decided to be a high caliber athlete then this is a great little tip for you. Don't think that winning a race is easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Remember sweating shows your doing hard work. But the true point in all sports to become better would be the base. If you have no base you will not go far. You will be sloppy. There's always something to work on. So this is where drills come in. These are mini sub routines before every race day and or practice that you should do. Make sure you warm up your muscles, you don't want to pull a hamstring or anything. Also make sure you do lots of stretches. I cannot emphasize how many injuries happen from lack of warming up and stretching. So get in touch with your event coach on which you should do to make you shine in the spotlight and keep you injury free for not just the season but for as long as you do them. Doing these will not prevent injuries but it significantly lowers the chance of an injury.

8) Along side the warm ups and stretches, you need to do an adequate cool down as well. A great cool down no matter how tired you are is a nice, slow jog for 15 minutes to no more then 30 minutes. This cool down helps relieve your legs of all the built up acids from the adrenaline that just pumped through your body. After you have finished the cool down, make sure to go through your stretch routine again as well, it will help reduce the after race sourness's.

9) Getting shin splints? There are 2 easy remedies to help eliminate shin splints. First, Make sure you have an antiquate amount of potassium in your diet daily, bananas are a very healthy and good source for this. 2nd would be to find a curb or a wall and have the elevated on the wall while your heel is still remaining on the floor, then lean into the wall. Do not over due it though this can cause tearing of the muscles and tendons if done to fast or improperly. But it will also strengthen that muscles that give you the shin splints, This is the remedy that most athletes use to rid themselves of the shin splint. Although some coaches have the theory of " Shin splints are something that is in your head".

10) No matter how bad the weather is outside, always know this, track runs in any weather, rain or shine, as long as there's no life threatening weather problems, so do not look at the bad weather as something bad, look at it as a different way to train and push yourself to the limit, rain and wind are a good way to really push yourself beyond your comfort level. When you do this, your body kicks into  what I would like to call "Overdrive". When your body does this the training becomes more intense, and the results are much higher. Then when you  get to those days where you have  a meet on a nice day, your confidence will be much higher then those around you because you have trained in the yourself to be tough, by battling it out in the tough harsh elements of mother nature. Look to every day as a beautiful day, it is Washington we live in....Can't say the scenery around here is not bad because its beautiful, From SKHS you have  a beautiful view of the mountains, and there's plenty of places to train.

11) Be diverse in your training. Don't limit yourself to just on the track work outs. Try to hit the weights every few days as well, not heavy weights but light weights with repetition. This will help fix up your muscle memory. It will enhance the reaction time of your muscles for your events. But it will also help with its flexibility. Not only with this, but don't just run on one surface, try to be diverse in that too. Whether it be all flat, up hill down hill, stairs, etc. Change it up every now and then, that way you don't get burnt out on the same routine all the time. Also try to have fun doing it.
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