Valerie Hunt: Training for a Race

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by VALERIE HUNT

Valerie Hunt: Training for a Race
When training for a race, skill practice helps ensure success.

Find a fuel source you can use during your event — especially if it’s going to be longer than 90 minutes — and/or use as breakfast.
There are several skills that you need to focus on when training for an event. The skill of fueling and the skill of movement are the top priorities, so your training plan needs to include lots of practice in both. If you are always eating clean foods and staying hydrated, this is the best foundation for race prep. Many people “bonk” or “hit the wall” during their events due to lack of conditioning and/or lack of proper fueling. Practicing race nutrition is a skill that needs to be practiced, just like your Pose drills for running.

Find a fuel source you can use during your event — especially if it’s going to be longer than 90 minutes — and/or use as breakfast. Most of us CrossFitters have adopted a paleo style eating plan that includes reducing or eliminating processed foods and simple sugars so we are generally race ready all of the time!

I used to be a GU, gel and Gatorade addict, getting as much sugar in as possible, even for a 5K. Since starting to use 3Fu3l over a year ago, I have not had any of those processed items and have been able to race up to ultra distances just on 3F. Created by the founders of CrossFit Endurance, Brian MacKenzie and Doug Katona, 3Fu3l provides the right blend of fats, protein and carbs for all distance events. You can have it pre, during, and/or post endurance or WODs. According to Brian MacKenzie, “3Fu3l is an optimal fuel source for endurance events lasting up to 90 minutes.” You may need to refuel during the event and of course, supplement with water and electrolytes.

It’s nice to have a crew with you when you need to refuel during an event!

In regard to skills drills, you have been introduced to the Pose Method of Running, so those drills should be a foundation of your warm-up. Standing in Pose, falling and pulling (change of support) need to be a staple in your run practice.

Here is a video of the best warm up before any run or event.

See also “Getting Ready to Run: The Warm-Up.”

The Hills Are Alive…

Gotta love those hills!

Runners have a love-hate relationship with hills: we love to hate them but for sure like to include them for bragging rights of a good run!
A challenge that comes up in lots of races are the dreaded hills. The most famous part of the Boston Marathon course is Heartbreak Hill. Runners have a love-hate relationship with hills: we love to hate them but for sure like to include them for bragging rights of a good run! Hill training in PoseMethod comes down to how we use gravity in our movement. Uphill running requires more falling and more use of gravity, with quicker, lower pulls as the hill gets steeper. People tend to bend at the waist and try to reach with their foot thinking it’s going to get them up the hill quicker; instead, they end up expending extra lots of energy when they have to pull their body weight uphill!

The good news is that being more efficient in your falling gets you a 10% energy save in your running, which is nice when you are going up a hill. Practice your uphill falling drill and in no time you may actually start to enjoy the climbs.

Uphill Drill: Staying in Alignment

Downhill running is more about staying in alignment — that is, keeping your shoulders over your hips. This will start your movement downhill. We all stand at the top of a hill with our shoulders behind our hips to avoid “falling” down the hill, but that’s not how we would run downhill. When you bring your shoulders over your hips, be prepared to start moving! The more you bend your knees, the more you will keep your feet underneath you, making it easier to pull quickly as you go down the hill. You will also avoid the quad/knee ‘burn’ that many runners experience when they try to brake as they go down a hill.

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