If you’re a runner, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The date of that race that you signed up for months ago is getting closer and you have everything controlled: you have done your training to the letter, you have rested the days that you had stipulated, you have done the strength training that you had Recommended, you have properly fed and hydrated … Everything in your hand is dominated, but what about those factors that are beyond our control?
And there are external factors that can (and, indeed, do) affect our career rhythm. We can not control them, but we can prepare ourselves in advance so that our career comes out to word of mouth. We go over these external factors and see what we can do about it.
One of the external factors that can influence us most when it comes to running is the altitude at which we do it; That is, the meters above sea level to which we are. Why does this happen? When we are at a higher altitude there is a lower availability of oxygen in the atmosphere, which can affect our race pace.
If you usually train in a high place above sea level and low to compete at the seashore, you will surely gain a few seconds per kilometer in the race : fatigue takes a little longer to appear and you can keep a higher pace with them Pulsations.
If, on the contrary, you usually train near the sea and you go up to compete in the mountain, it is possible that your rhythm will suffer. To avoid this, you can go to the mountains for a few days to get your body used; And if you can arrive a few days before to the place of competition to acclimatize you, better than better.
The temperature on the day of the race
Regardless of the altitude, the warmth with which you make the day of the race will also be a major factor in the development of it. Being able to maintain the expected pace with high temperatures will depend in good part on how efficient our body is to manage it. In any case, an adequate hydration and the use of suitable clothes when running , can benefit us (better to pass a little cold at the beginning of the test than to spend much heat and risk dehydrating in the middle of it).
Running at a high temperature can cause fatigue to appear ahead of time , we do not feel comfortable running or even dehydrating ourselves. It is very important that during the days before the test we regulate our hydration , and during the race we make sure to make use of the water supplies. Replenishing water and mineral salts after the effort is also paramount.
Ambient humidity during travel
Depending on where the race is going to take place and at what time of year, we may encounter a high percentage of ambient humidity which, if we are not accustomed to it or if our organism is not able to regulate it efficiently, can negatively influence our Career rhythm
With a high humidity in the air (greater than 65%) the body becomes more difficult to regulate its temperature and the appearance of fatigue is given earlier, in addition to our pulsations will be higher than other conditions. With very high air humidity (more than 85%) it is not recommended to exercise intensely as the health of the athlete may be at risk.
At this point, as when we talked about heat, it is important that we hydrate properly and regularly both before and during and after exercise, and that we facilitate the regulation of body temperature using sports garments with suitable tissues (which help Sweat, without keeping it in contact with the skin for a long time).
The slope of the race
Depending on the city where we usually train, we can be accustomed to the ups and downs or, conversely, enjoy long plains that allow us to carry a higher career pace. Whether you are going to compete outside or start your own city, it is very important that you know the itinerary and the unevenness of the race to be able to propose a good strategy.
Knowing the altmetric profile of the test (in which kilometers are the climbs, at what height you will be able to flatten or when there are descents where to recover some seconds) is vital to estimate the rhythm that we must take in each section, especially if our objective is To make time. If possible, in addition to having this information, we can also walk through some stretches of the route in the previous days to familiarize ourselves with them.
The surface or ground on which we are going to run
Running on asphalt is not the same as doing it on the mountain or on a track. Most of us are accustomed to running on asphalt in our cities or, the more fortunate, on land in the big parks. Knowing how to deal with different types of terrain is important when planning a career.
The first thing is to choose a footwear suitable for the terrain and the climate with which we are going to run: if we go out to the mountain to compete for a test, the trail shoes will make it much easier for us to move on a soil that is not as regular as the from the city. If the weather forecast is also rainy, footwear with goretex or other similar materials will prevent our feet from getting soaked and this will add weight to our legs (as well as discomfort) and reduce our running pace.
The force of the wind
The wind is another factor that can greatly influence our race pace: surely it has happened to you that while we are practicing a straight we seem to practically fly, but when we redo the same way back we find the wind of Face and we lose valuable seconds to lower our pace.
Little can be done in cases where we have to run with the wind against but, if we inform before the test of this data, we will be able to regulate our race pace so that we do not get exhausted ahead of time . Carrying the wind face to face while running is often an unpleasant sensation that makes us feel even a bit frustrated when we can not run as fast as we want: it is important that we know how to manage it without getting nervous and thinking that, surely, another time in the race We will have the wind in favor and we will be able to recover.
The test schedule
Are you the one who always trains in the late afternoon? Bad luck, because most races usually take place early in the morning for logistical reasons. An abrupt change of schedules can put an end to our rhythm and our career strategy, so it is a good idea to try to leave at least one day a week (weekends are usually a good option) in the same time The test to see how our body responds.
Not only is it a matter of running in the morning or in the afternoon, but we must also pay attention to all that entails : you are probably more rested first thing in the morning, but we have to adapt also the dinner of the previous night And the breakfast of the day of the race so that it does not hinder our performance. Use the weekends to try different strategies and not arrive the same day of the test blank.
In a race we can not have everything under control because unforeseen circumstances always arise: having as much information as possible about the test and having tested and trained in the different scenarios can give us that confidence plus that makes us cross the finish line.