Plan Ahead

Got a plan when you start a middle- or long-distance event? I certainly hope so! Developing a strategic plan for an event, whether  it is a race or time trial is an essential step for distance athletes and their coaches. Of course, this plan depends on the type of locomotion, e.g., cycling or running, the length and terrain of the course, how best to split up the event into segments, the forecast for ambient temperature, weather conditions, and other environmental situations.

This strategic plan consisted of at least two parts: pace splits and mental tactics. Supplemental parts can be added for nutritional, environmental, and other challenges. (Read More…)

The first part of the strategic plan concerned the anticipated pace, i.e., locomotor speed, at the end of each segment’s time or distance split. The pace of a segment usually depended on the length of the event and on the athlete’s ability to sprint at the finish. Usually, the first and final parts of the event were faster than the middle parts.

The other part of this overall plan was a “mental strategy” that considered the affirming or distracting thoughts and questions that might occur during the event. This strategy included performance goals, techniques for focusing awareness internally and externally, methods for acknowledging and tolerating discomfort, and very importantly, changing a negative attitude to a positive.

Thus this plan has to be broken down into practical segments. Then a projection of the time splits can be made for optimizing pace over the event. The next part will set up the mental plan to support optimizing the pace splits. Finally the supplemental plans can be formulated.
(Return to Dealing with Discomfort)

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