Looking to get a better time on your next trail race? I just knocked 2.5 hours off of my 100-miler PR last weekend at Yeti 100. Now, given this is a fast course, I had a breakthrough realization that my mind and its choices were slowing me down less than my actual body. So, here are some takeaways:
• Travel light. Only take what you need between aid stations. Our brain tries to convince us we either won’t survive or won’t be comfortable between 6 miles! Don’t let the brain win. Go minimal!
• Don’t screw around in aid stations. Aid stations are the devil! Get only what you need quickly, and get out of there like fire! If you spend 10 minutes at 6 aid stations, that’s an entire hour off your time.
• Mitigate catastrophic stuff before it happens. Sip water before you’re thirsty, and eat before you’re hungry. If you feel leg cramps creeping up, they’re definitely on the way – stop (super fast) and take a stretch break.
• Never lose focus of going forward. Every time you stop for 5 minutes, someone is going 5 minutes farther ahead of you. To catch up, you’ve got to make up not only the time you’ve lost by being idle but the time they’ve gained.
• Don’t stop running. You may need to get your heart rate down, but be very mindful of only allowing for recovery – then get to shuffling again. That shuffle always turns into a jog, then a run. Don’t allow your legs to think “it’s over.” You may have to stop for a snake or to ask a piker if they’re okay, but force yourself to shuffle – it’ll turn back into running!