Rules For First Timers (and Old Timers As Well)
Ed Kornoelje DO, Metro Health Sports Medicine
I hope your training is going well. It’s less than two months until the Fifth Third River Bank Run. If this is your first River Bank Run (or race for that matter), here are a few “rules” to keep in mind for your event, and any others you may have on your calendar.
In order to help navigate some of the “obstacles” you may encounter while running, here are a few things to consider. “The Runner’s Rule Book” by Mark Remy offers a few “rules” that may help with training and racing (and life in general). Maybe the rules themselves (or the subsequent discussions) will help. Maybe they will make you chuckle. In any event here are a few things to ponder. (The book is a great read by the way).
Run The Mile You’re In (Rule 2.27). “... keep your head in the here and now” as Mark puts it. Training runs and races (any distance) can be long, and if you focus on the whole thing it may seem a little overwhelming. But if you break them down into smaller pieces (this mile, the next block, or even the next step—I have used this last one more than once), the larger task is attainable.
Pretend You’re British (Rule 2.29). Say what? Are we supposed to run with an accent? No. What Mark is getting at is decorum—how you should respond in tight quarters at the start of a race (or in the middle for that matter). When (and it will) the jostling occurs, be “unfailingly polite and unassuming.” Don’t get too worried about being bumped, clipped, or blocked—let the runner pass, back off a little, and get back to your race. (Having said that, try not to be the bumper, clipper, or blocker).
Line Up Where You Belong (Rule 2.18). A few years ago I overheard two runners talking about the signs with times on them (7:00, 7:30…) at the start of the race. One noted that they were way too far forward in the race corral for their pace. The other said not to worry, that even though they were walking, there was no need to move back to the proper location, and that the runners would just go around them. While not everyone is worried about their finishing time, this is in fact a race, and isn’t it the right thing to do to line up near your expected race pace?
When you are feeling an energy drain, talk to the fans (This one is my own). On more than one occasion when I started to feel sluggish, I have yelled out something to the spectators (“Let’s go!”, “Thanks for coming out!”, or “Why did you get up so early?” are some of my favorites) and felt an immediate surge of energy. It makes my wife a little uncomfortable when we run together, but I feel great (and she gets a good chuckle). Try it—you’ll be glad you did! (Thanking the volunteers along the way has the same effect).
There are many places to find us if needed. We have locations with sports med doctors all over town—check us out at www.metrohealth.net for more information. We are also seeing patients at the Metro Health Sports Medicine Center inside the Spartan Stores YMCA at the Metro Health Village. Call 252-7778 for more information or to schedule an appointment. And don’t forget about Injury Wise at Gazelle Sports Grand Rapids every Wednesday night from 6-8 PM. These are brief one on one sessions open to active individuals of all ages and sports. Contact Gazelle for more information.