Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Use Dual Meets For Experimenting

Dual meets are a great way to find out what type of runner/racer you are. You can do this by experimenting with different races and race tactics. If you are a miler, for example, you can run races such as the 400m. or 800m. during a dual to work on your sprint speed by running at a faster pace that you would run in the mile. This makes your pace feel a little more comfortable when running the mile. You can also run the 3200m. to work on your endurance which will, in turn, help make the mile race feel shorter and easier to handle.

In regards to race tactics, the dual meet is a great opportunity to find out what type of race works best for you. If you want to run a 5:00 mile, for example, you can race three different ways during three different duals and then pick which tactic felt the most comfortable and had the best results. The three tactics are:

1)Go out hard and hang on with splits of 2:20 and 2:40 for a 5:00 mile.
2)Run even with splits of 2:30 and 2:30 for a 5:00 mile.
3)Go out slow and come back hard with splits of 2:40 and 2:20 for a 5:00 mile.

You can also use dual meets to see how your stomach and body reacts to different types of foods. By eating different foods before a dual meet, you can learn what makes you feel strong and light versus what makes you want to puke before, during and/or after your race.

Finally, dual meets can help you practice running in a relaxed state of mind. Duals are generally not important and there is no pressure to perform. When running this way, you are relaxed, calm, and not nervous. The feel of racing in this state of mind is ideal and usually results in great performances.

By experimenting in such physical and mental ways at dual meets you will learn who you are as a runner/racer and what works best for you. This, in turn, will have you at the top of your game when the invitationals and championships arrive.

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