48. The 3-minute marker.

Running tip #48

If you don’t have enough time to fully preview a course the day before a race, the next best thing is to include this visualization trick in your warm up:   Head directly to the finish area and jog back onto the course for 5 minutes.  Stop here, then turnaround and look around for a visual marker (also called a “cue” by sports psychologists) that you will be able to see and remember during the race when you are approximately 1,000m from the finish line.  I call this the 3-minute marker because you can do anything for just three minutes, right?  Hold your breath, stand on your head, stay in side plank, endure triple-contractions during labor …side-plank-ex_0

When you come upon this pre-determined, three-minutes-to-go marker near the end of your race (it may be the McDonald’s golden arches, or a rail-road crossing sign, or a red wheelbarrow … anything memorable),  this will be your cue to immediately start your kick.  You won’t think.  You will react.  GO!  NOW!!!!  Even if your legs are dead tired and your pace has slowed to a survival shuffle, once you see that “red wheelbarrow” your body will forget the perceived pain and you will automatically start sprinting toward the finish line.  Three minutes later you’ll be leaning for the tape.

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p.s. You may think I did the math wrong, but I didn’t.  5-minute jog = 3-minute kick.

Trust me … and e.e.

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