Racing Mistakes I’ve Made

I’m so inspired by the Boston marathon yesterday.  I wish the weather had been better, but everyone was still exuding the Boston energy and powering through!

Every year, I am re-energized to sign up for a marathon after watching it, but if I added a spring/summer full at this point that would have to be added to my list below of racing mistakes.  I’m definitely not trained for it!

So a few weeks ago, I shared 7 things I do before each race.  Today the Tuesday on the Run link up is discussing racing mistakes we’ve made.  Great topic, right?

Thankfully, I don’t have too many awful ones but a few come to mind:

  1. Under trained: I was pretty clueless when I ran my first marathon.  I trained by myself and wasn’t blogging yet or linked up with any local running groups.  I followed a basic plan and in retrospect was grossly under trained.  I ran one 16 miler, one 18 miler and one 20 miler with my peak week of total mileage hitting 38-40 once. Everything else was high 20s/ low 30s mileage with long runs less than 14 miles.  I felt surprisingly okay until the final 6-7 miles when the wheels came off.
  2. Under fueled: Same race.  That clueless first marathon where I was under trained I also didn’t know what I was doing in terms of fueling.  I made date-nut balls and packed a few in a plastic baggie in my fuel belt.  I think I ate two. I never felt hungry (or thirsty for that matter) but I know that was part of the wheels falling off issue!
  3. Starting too fast:  This is a classic, must-be-learned-the-hard-way running mistake.  And I’ve had my fair share… the Newport Liberty half last fall was a rough one.
  4.  Failing to adapt paces for poor weather: I’ve crashed in warm weather races multiple times.  I am now trying to avoid racing in the heat- but obviously it’s sometimes out of our control, like Boston was yesterday.  The Diva’s half was one of my worst warm weather races… I fell apart in the middle because I insisted on starting at my goal race pace in the heat.

I’ve also tapered too much or not enough, eaten too much the night before or the wrong thing, worn too many layers or the wrong base layer (chafing!!), misjudged my fitness and paced poorly, and I’m sure there’s much more I’m forgetting.

Making the mistake is the best way to learn it,I guess.  Here’s to hoping there aren’t too many more!

What racing mistakes have you made?


I am linking up with SuzRachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.


12 thoughts on “Racing Mistakes I’ve Made

  1. I do think most of the time we need to make these mistakes to really learn from them. I always heard not to go out too fast but I didnt really understand why until I did it myself (and thats a mistake Ive made multiple times). We can only hope to eventually learn from our mistakes, right?!

  2. the heat is a big one! I try to avoid the summer races but sometimes in April and May, it is suddenly super hot and we aren’t ready for that! and agreed on starting out too fast, I think we have all done that and have had to learn how to go slower at the beginning to not fall apart later.

  3. Adapting and poor weather is a mistake I’ve made a few times but the more I race in the bad weather, the more I get used too it. I think as runners we all have to learn these lessons first hand or we will never grow! Great lessons for anyone.
    Hollie recently posted..Not Your Average RunnerMy Profile

  4. I have absolutely made ALL of those and more!! I guess it’s a process that makes those PRs that much sweeter but, when this stuff happens it’s so frustrating since most of the time I knew better and did it anyway!!

  5. Resisting the urge not to go bolting out too fast, when seemingly everyone else is doing it is so tough. Especially in cities with tall buildings that throw off your Garmin. Yes, I’ve made plenty of racing mistakes.
    Marcia recently posted..Running Mistakes: Proper FuelingMy Profile

  6. My first and only FULL marathon… I didn’t eat ANYTHING during the run except for an orange slice they handed out at one of the aid stations. No wonder it was a miserable experience. That is the reason I have stuck with 1/2 marathons since then, but I am getting the marathon bug… especially since I know way more about nutrition than I did 12 years ago when I ran that full.
    Amanda Hunter recently posted..It’s Finally Race Week! Spring Training: Week 14My Profile

  7. I don’t think I’m ever underfueled. 🙂

    But I made the same mistake, being undertrained, for my first half — mostly because I didn’t have a GPS watch.

    Adjusting for weather? Yeah, that’s been a theme. Getting my outfit wrong, usually because of the weathermen. Not paying enough attention to my body & what it’s telling me.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted..Are you monogamous?My Profile

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