In his Own Words: Not Racing Every Race

Griffin Allaire, a senior at Wells high school, finished third in the Class B State XC meet a year ago.

Hey Everyone, I hope you've all had the start to the 2019 XC you were hoping for and even if you haven't, there's still a lot of racing left so keep working hard.
As we near the midpoint of the season and we've had some invitationals and regular season meets, I think it would be best for me to talk about one of my overall season strategies which is not racing every race.

This XC season I will be choosing which races I want to run all out. I have watched some of my fellow runners do this for years, but it will be new for me since I've always raced at every opportunity. In doing this, I likely hindered my performance at the end of the season. By the time the State meet and New England's would come around, I would be burnt out, tired, and in no position to run at my best when I needed it most. The thinking behind this new strategy for me is to just keep fresh throughout the season. For example, I used the first race as a workout, easing my way back into racing form and not doing too much too soon.

Now that I've run hard for two races in a row, I'll probably back down and rest for a week or two. This new strategy is difficult for me because I haven't raced easy in all my years of high school. To be honest I don't like it, but I figure if it helps me run better in the championship races then so be it. This strategy may not work for everyone, but I do think it's very beneficial for those of you who feel like you're burnt out when the big races come along.

On a side note, as we begin to approach the final training block of the season, it is most likely that we will begin to sharpen up our speed work and taper down for the bigger races. I have found that this is one of if not the most important part of training during the season. Over my past few years of running, I've found that there are specific workouts that work best for me. They not only help my legs feel good the day of the race, but they also help me psychologically, giving me a confidence boost. Just the thought that I will run well if I do a specific workout is, I think, a large advantage. Running is very much a mind over matter sport. And if you can find a way to convince yourself that you'll run well, then you've already taken a step toward that goal.
I hope you all have a great next few weeks, and best of luck with your upcoming races.
Best regards,
Griffin Allaire