The Workout/Race Plan

The Workout/Race Plan

📅September 29th, 2014, 20:28

Have you ever had a specific race plan get completely turned upside down during the race? Did it ruin your race and your day? Recharge team member, Jared Bassett, shares some of his personal experience and insight on the positives and negatives that come with detailed workout and race plans, and how having your every move planned out could be holding you back.

“In my experiences of training and racing, every race and workout I have done has always had a proposed plan to go along with it. This was to make sure I knew what I was doing before I started, instead of just jumping in and hoping things went well. Having a plan before races and workouts is important. It always gives me a sense of relief from the anxiety that can be caused by the uncertainty that comes with any competition. However, one thing that I have noticed over the years is that my races and workouts almost never go according to plan! And that’s ok.

In fact, in all of my best races the plan I had made prior always went out the window within the first few minutes. This actually forced me to be more engaged in the actual race instead of focusing on myself and my own plan. I just listened to how I felt physically and mentally and either raced or completed the workout. I’m not saying it isn’t important to focus on ourselves while racing, but sometimes we overthink things that are simple in nature and create our own mental barriers before the event even happens.

My race at the Oregon high school XC State Championships my senior year was a good example of having to drop the plan I had and just race. Going into the race I was ranked 5th on paper. I wasn’t even mentioned as a potential favorite. So I decided to go with a race plan where I went out conservative behind the lead pack and stick with the leaders to the end and try and out kick whoever I was with for the win. Ten minutes before the race I went to the team bus to grab my race flats. The bus was locked, my coach was busy coaching the girls team, and I was in panic mode. I managed to track down my coach and get the keys to the bus. I threw on my flats and got to the line with enough time to do two strides, then BANG! The race was off and I found myself up in front right off the bat. I had no thoughts about my plan since my attention had been turned toward getting my shoes and all I was thinking about was racing to win, which was ultimately the goal of my plan to begin with. The race came down to a mile to go and I decided to take a risk and attack. It paid off, and I found myself running to the finish line alone for the win.

That race day experience really showed me that the more simple the plan the better. If I had gone out slower and sat behind the group like I had originally intended, the race could have ended up much differently. Luckily I got a bit distracted with the shoe incident beforehand and just ran with my race instincts and simplified my plan to race to win. My instinct to race when the gun goes off is automatic, and in this particular race it paid off. So, next time you find your plan crumbling before your eyes don’t panic and trust your training and instincts. You may be pleasantly surprised by your result!”

-Jared Bassett