Monday, May 21, 2001

Runner's advice: Be able to smile at end

Gannett News Service

        Jeff Galloway may be a former Olympic runner, but he doesn't coach his clients to go for the gold at all costs.

        “On race day, your goal is to be smiling and in an upright position when it's over, wanting to do it again,” he says. To that end, here's his do's and don'ts list from the June issue of Fitness magazine:

        • Don't try out a new pair of running shoes. Your feet won't be happy. Instead, get a new pair halfway through your training, so that they're firm and supportive but also comfortable.

        • Do start out slowly. Charging ahead when the gun sounds could cause you to poop out — or, worse, get hurt — before you can finish the race. Instead, set a pace you think you can stay with for the entire run (pick it up during the last mile, if you want). Even if you guess wrong and go too slowly, you'll finish knowing you could have run faster, which is a confidence builder.

        • Don't experiment with food. If your usual pre-workout meal is a bagel, race day is not the time to try that new sports drink they're giving away at the starting line.

        • Do hydrate. In all the excitement, you may feel like you can run on empty — but don't bypass the water stations. Unless you hear sloshing in your stomach, drink!

        • Don't be afraid to walk. In today's race environment, walking breaks are not only acceptable, they're encouraged. Take them when you need to and you'll feel strong at the finish. Water stations are a good place to start walking.

        • Do have fun. You're there to have a good time. Chat with your fellow runners, thank the volunteers and bask in the glory of your accomplishment.


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