Dial It In

I’ve heard that folks who race always have a very set routine on race day.  They leave nothing to chance and try to do everything the same way every time in order to not forget anything, leave anything to chance, and free their minds to run their best run.

While I don’t run races I find on the days I do run, there does seem to be a sort of “disorder” to get me out the door.  Some runs are good, and I can’t remember what I may have done that morning.  Other days are crap and I wonder what I could have done differently.

Another way of thinking about “dialing it in”, at least for me, is having a plan and executing against that plan.  I have examples of each for this post.

Last week I was in Tampa for my company’s annual offsite.  We’d meet all day and then in the evening we would go do something fun.  Sunset cruise of Tampa Bay, Drag Queen Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s (Dirty Bitch!), etc.  I knew going into the week, I didn’t want to slack off my training.   I had to have a plan.  That meant most nights I tried to be back at the hotel by 9:00PM in order to be up and working out at 5:00AM.  It also meant making sure I had my protein powder, healthy snacks, and making better choices during lunch and dinner.  For the most part I was successful.  Had a bit of a late night on Tuesday so Wednesday wasn’t happening for my workout.  Thursday was a rest day anyway, so I simply “switched” the two days.  Wednesday became a rest day, and Thursday was a workout.  That meant no compromise on Wednesday night….I had to leave the evening at 9:00PM in order to keep my commitment to myself.  But notice, I “allowed” myself flexibility to switch out Wednesday and Thursday’s work outs.

Another example of dialing it in was my routine for getting ready for my training run yesterday.  My mornings can be rather scattered, but in an effort to analyze my run yesterday, I wanted to use this space to document what I did.  I want to see understand “what” I may have done to have such a good run.  I’ll work on the timing of these things later.

  • Alarm goes off at 4:15AM…hit the snooze button a couple of times.  [Note: I really need to stop that]
  • 4:45AM up and drinking my first cup of coffee.  Check local news, email, Facebook.
  • Remember I have a meditation app called Headspace.  I’ve been working through the app this past week or so and I think it’s helping calm my mind…so today I decided to meditate for 3 minutes before I start getting ready for my run.
  • Take my daily meds and vitamins.  Brush my teeth.
  • Pull a running pack of clothes.  Put on the anti-chaff and get dressed.  My running clothes are always the same…running socks (never cotton), BCG compression shorts (10″), workout shorts, bra (because well…lets just say the girls have to be strapped it else they would knock me out), performance t-shirt, Fitbit on left wrist, Solomon Speedcross 4.
  • Grab my headband, running hat, workout gloves, running belt, and towel.
  • Set aside wallet, cash, and phone.
  • Fill running water bottles and add airpods to running belt.
  • Fill another water bottle that stays in the car for “after” the run.
  • Has a fruit pouch.
  • Leave the house at 6:30AM, get to the part, at 6:45AM, start my run at 7:00AM

Today’s run was a 6:3.  That means I ran for 6 minutes and then walked for three.  I did start with a 5 minute warm up.  In total I ran about 3.25 miles.

Surprisingly my run went really well and felt really good.  I was able to turn off my head and not think.  That tells me I need to make it a habit to incorporate meditation into my morning routine before I run.

Also, in looking at the list above, I could have less to think about if I would just put in the effort to fill water bottles the night before, maybe set the fruit pouch in a specific place in the fridge so a) I don’t have to think about what flavor I want and b) I won’t forget it.

The less I have to think about, the more I can incorporate a “routine” helps me dial in my running, my workout, and finally my race on race day.

What’s your routine?  It doesn’t necessarily have to be for fitness…it could be anything….let me know what tips and tricks you’ve found that help you “dial it in”!



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