Whether we are training for our first 5k or our 10th full Ironman triathlon, we spend countless hours exercising, eating right, and cross training. We are turning our bodies into finely tuned machines over weeks and months all with an eye on having the best race day possible. We only get one shot at that particular day, so we want to do it right. Sometimes though, we let our brains get in the way of our training. We second guess all the work we’ve done. We get to race day looking for that “magic bullet” to get us to the finish line. We violate the number one rule of endurance sports: NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.
The reason this is even a rule in the first place is that countless people have broken it with significant consequences. All we can do is listen to the wizened veteran runner or triathlete and heed their warnings. We can take their advice to heart all the while silently saying to ourselves, “Wow, that WAS stupid. I’ll never do that…” And yet somehow we do.
There are many ways to break this rule, but generally it falls into only a few categories. The first is clothing. That new shirt you are saving for race day might rub you the wrong way, causing chafing that becomes unbearable by the mid-way point of the race. Or maybe you found a new pair of compression socks that “guarantee” less fatigue, but create blisters. And that Costume? Did you test it out on a short run or walk before heading to your race? Well, it looks cute, but if it doesn’t breathe or tears in the wrong places, you might not have as much fun as you’d like. [Read more…] about Nothing New on Race Day