A short and sweet – but no less valuable – tip this week. As I cheered on many of my clients and friends at the Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, I noticed something. In fact, it really puzzled me. With about 1/2 mile to go, most runners were (understandably) struggling to get to the finish line.
The weird thing was, after running almost 13 miles all out, thousands runners were choosing to run farther than necessary!
All I could think of was a lesson my high school coach taught us before our first cross-country race. The lesson was this: "Always run in straight lines". Unless you are running around a curve (as tightly as possible), you should be headed from one turn to the next in as few steps as possible.
Imagine running on a course shaped like the letter "S". If you cut the corners, rather than staying in the same lane on the road, you'll run less. Guess what? That's how they measure road race courses.
While I'm sure most people didn't intend on running and extra quarter mile that day, I'm sure they did. Too bad they only get credit for 13.1 miles!
Now, I realize it may not be practical when the course is clogged and congested with so many competitors, but it is possible. Keep your head up and look where you're headed in a few hundred yards. Gradually drift in that direction - ideally without cutting someone off.
Try not to simply follow the herd. I'm telling you, MOST people don't follow the golden rule of the tangent. It's like an insider secret or something!