With the big day less than a week away, you have now put in months - maybe even a full year - worth of preparation for the Squamish50. With it being the biggest running event of the year for many of us, I thought I would share this list with you. It’s a list of mistakes that one might want to avoid this week.
Logic says that in the final days before a big event, you should be Steady-Eddy. Keep the ship on a course; no crazy turns, no big changes of speed, and no surprises!
BUT…A big event can bring out fear, indecision, and anxiety. Quite often, these negative feelings can cause us to make some bad decisions. It’s often easier to see these mistakes being made by others, than when we make them ourselves. We tend to internally justify our own stupid moves, while spotting the pin-less hand grenade that someone else is playing with. So do yourself a favour…if you plan on doing any of the points below…just don’t. Put the pin back in the grenade, set it down, and walk away. (In reality you should probably immediately call 911 if you have a grenade, but I’m speaking metaphorically here). When in doubt, rest and stick to the game plan that you laid out weeks ago.
Things to NOT do, before (and during) the Squamish50;
- Go out and run the entire course this week - just to make sure you are prepared.
- Sit on the beach and work on your tan for the 3 days prior to race day. Even though this may sound relaxing, you are likely going to be very dehydrated. And if you’re lucky, you could have mild heat stroke.
- Decide last minute, that minimal/barefoot shoes - because they save you 50g of weight per foot - are the optimal choice for a technical ultra. Even though you’ve done all your training in your usual footwear, what could possibly go wrong on race day if you wore something totally untested (and honestly, inappropriate) for the course.
- Even though you have never - in your entire life - ran without socks, opt to run the race sock-less. Because socks might just make your feet too hot right?
- Begin a brand new strength routine this week because you heard the course was hilly. Everybody knows that really heavy deep squats will totally make you better on the uphills.
- Convince yourself that you are a camel, and that you really won’t need carry any fluids on course. After all, there are aid stations right? How hot and thirsty can one get between those?
- Forget that this event is really about having fun. Make it way more stressful than it should be. Cry yourself to sleep every night this week, gripped with fear and anxiety.
- Start right at the front of the pack, with the plan to go out and set a 5k PB in the first 5k. Because it’s like banking time for later right? How could that backfire…
- Disregard the impeccable course flagging because there is no way that the hill in front of you (flagged the entire way up) matches what you thought you saw on the course profile on your phone screen last week.
- Give up because its hard. What the F**k did you think you signed up for?