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Le Blog Du Rob #114: Race week!

Working out with Dylan Wykes
Working out with Dylan Wykes

Race week is here kids. Gonna lace em’ up and get at it in our nation’s capital on Sunday.

I’m super pumped and excited to get this race going, but before that gun goes off Sunday morning I have to survive race week first. Ugh, I hate race week. It should be awesome, I mean it is essentially just a lot of sitting around and relaxing… well, that’s what it should be, at least. But it is more like my male equivalent of me being on my period; I’m an emotional, antsy, bloated wreck.

Race week is like being in running limbo. You have spent weeks and weeks working yourself into this finely tuned fit-ass beast, ready to tackle anything, ready to hammer the race. The fitter you get the more fun things are, the better the vibes, the better life is in general! And just as you are at your absolute fittest… you just stop. Stop working hard, stop building, stop everything. You put on the breaks and your whole routine is thrown outta whack. Now it’s all about rest and recovery, its brutal, man.

I believe that the most overlooked aspect of training properly is the importance of rest and recovery, race week illustrates exactly why we fail to respect this element of training – it’s just so damn hard on the head! Physically the body is pumped, it finally gets to rebuild and chill. But our heads just go mental and we convince ourselves that we are losing all our fitness or something. Runners overthink things, that’s a fact, we think way too friggin’ much!

Let’s talk about this taper business a bit. I often have people asking me about how to taper correctly. Gonna make a confession here: I have no effin’ clue. To answer this question, I’ll just start spouting out some miscellaneous nonsense as I rack my brain trying to remember key points from some of the dozens of generic tapering themed articles I have read: “Uhh… cut your volume… umm, it’s normal to feel sluggish… less is more…uhh…” Hell man, I am just as clueless as everyone else on this one.

There are so many ways to approach this taper business. Here’s my advice. Do what your coach tells you. Then if it all goes terribly wrong on race day you can just blame them for screwing with the taper.

Well, here we are now. And the Good news is that I have survived the first part of race week. I am now at the race local. Ottawa. Ottawa is a beautiful city. I have a new life rule: I will never visit Ottawa between November and April. As far as I’m concerned this is one of our most beautiful cities. But it only takes one -25 degree day to shatter that perception.

This is the fun part of race week. Now I get to reconnect with old friends, meet some new ones and just absorb all the race weekend vibes.

I have said it once, and I’ll say it again. I love road races, I absolutely love them! I love all the positive vibes that come with race week. We all run for different reasons, we all have different goals. It is beautiful when we all congregate during race weekend as we get the opportunity to express ourselves and achieve greatness together.

Let’s touch real quick on my race expectations. Fortunately have put in a very solid block of training to finish up this cycle. I had probably the worst race of my career at the Toronto Yonge Street 10K, I was fried from overexerting myself after an illness. But thankfully I have absorbed all that work and have managed to shake off the fatigue. I am so damn thankful to have my main man Dylan Wykes pulling me through workouts and I think I am ready to run well. I’m not going to have a time goal going in. I want to run a complete race, I want to execute a plan and compete well. That is a boring statement, but it’s the truth.

Thanks for reading folks. I’ll hit ya up with a post-race recap next week. Good luck to all whom are lacing em’ up this weekend. We all roll together.