This week I'm going to offer some thoughts and insider tips regarding the Broad Street Run. You've trained hard and smart and you're ready. If you've run the race before and you have a tip to offer- please leave a comment below! 1. Give yourself plenty of time in the morning. Personally, I will be on a train before 7am, probably 6:30. As my friend Vinny (you may know him as Spiderman) will attest, nothing gives me more anxiety than arriving late to a race. The starting line will be extremely crowded which makes meeting friends difficult, the port-o-potty lines are long, perhaps you'll want to check your gear, and you may want to warm up.
2. The sardine can subway will be jam packed if you take a train after 6:45am. See tip #1. Make sure you've used soap recently. Don't be THAT guy.
3. I've never had any problems with the gear check system and recommend using it. It may be chilly in the morning and you'll be glad you're wearing a sweatshirt and pants while others are shivering.
4. Place yourself in the front of your corral if you're competitive. Stand in the middle or back if you're not.
5. You should get to mile 3 feeling like you haven't even started running hard yet. You should be very relaxed and enjoying the mostly downhill nature of the first 5.5 miles.
6. You should be hitting your goal pace in the first half of the race but it should not feel hard yet. How's your breathing? Under control?
7. Around City Hall you should feel like you are working, but still in control.
8. Just past the 7 mile marker it will get harder and harder to maintain your goal pace. Expect this. Focus on a nearby runner and focus on matching their pace. Obviously, you'll want to pick a runner who looks strong, not someone who's slowing down!
9. As you pass under the I-76 overpass you will have 1.4 miles to go. If you're doing better than “barely hanging on by a thread”, make a defined move to catch a runner 50 yards ahead. Make it your mission to reel them in before you get to the I-95 overpass. Commit to it and don't worry about growing tired. Weird, but, by forcing the pace at this stage of the race, you will squash those self-doubting voices in your head.
10. Soak in the cheers from the crowd in the final ¼ mile. Yes, they're for you!
11. If you find yourself sore after the race, keep moving. Complete rest is usually NOT the answer. Go for a few 10 minute walks later on Sunday and Monday. Use a stationary bike, or ideally go for a swim. Keep the intensity extremely low and just move. In fact, a yoga session would be perfect!
Above all, enjoy the day and appreciate what you're able to do. I know several people who would give anything to be able to participate in such an amazing event. Crank it!
PS: Got any tips of your own? Share 'em below, please!