Posted by: Joe English | August 12, 2011

Racing — Not Ready for Hood to Coast? Then read this!

running-advice-bugThe Hood To Coast Relay is right around the corner. Living in Portland, I know this to be true. We see 8-10 person groups running on Saturday mornings, people wearing HTC t-shirts all over the place and a lot more people out “jogging” than typical. The other night, I noticed no less than a dozen people jogging along my street about 6:00PM — prime time. And it isn’t just that more people are out in the nice summer weather. This is as distinctive as the gym parking lots the week after New Year’s. We just know when Hood To Coast is coming.

This morning I was reminded about an all-too-dark side of Hood To Coast: the person that has been talked into doing it, but isn’t really a runner or hasn’t done any training to get ready for it. These folks, and you may be one of them if you are reading this, may have lofty ambitions to get out and train, but its about at this point when we start seeing this on the street. Let me describe. The guy that I saw this morning was sort of limping and grimacing, barely moving along. He looked a little like he’d been run over by a truck. I can tell you, as an expert in this field, what was going on. This person had gone out and run say one mile as hard as he felt he might be able to and was in the midst of walking it off. It wasn’t pretty.

Here’s the deal, if you have been enlisted to run Hood To Coast and you haven’t started training or have kind of toyed with the idea of training but haven’t quite made it yet, you need a little help. I’m going to give you a few tips that might just save you from committing Hood-To-Coast Suicide.

This post is meant for those that have basically shirked off their training completely and haven’t done anything at all, so if you’ve been training, none of this advice applies to you. But do read some of the other good articles in our Hood To Coast category and there is some great advice for you out there.

Tip 1: If you haven’t been training, don’t start in the last three days before the event – You may think I’m kidding, but I have talked to many people that finally kick it in gear the week before Hood To Coast. There is a part of all us that would like to think that “a little is better than nothing”, but it doesn’t really work that way. In the last few days before an all-night-longer-distance-than-you’ve-ever-run kind of event, the last thing you want to do is to go out and tire yourself out, pull something, give yourself blisters, and basically run yourself into the ground. Save your strength, you’re going to need it. You DO want to try out any new gear before you head for the mountain however. Breaking in a new pair of shoes at Hood To Coast is not advised. A couple of short (1-2 mile) runs to at least test out the shoes and make sure they’re not ripping your feet apart is a good call.

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