Chaz Mancino is a senior at Kettering University majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Automotive Engineering. He’s been running for 10 years including varsity cross country, track and indoor track in high school. On Saturday, August 27, he will be participating in his fourth Crim 10-Mile race. His best time to-date is 66:26. Mancino offers the following tips for individuals running the Crim 10-mile race this Saturday.
When preparing for a race, be sure to train. For all races, I suggest running the course if possible so that way you have already experienced the course and know how to pace yourself. If that is not possible, I recommend training outside if it is an outside race. This will get you used to different kinds of weather conditions: humid, hot, cold, rain, sleet, snow, and so on. Since it is hard to predict what the weather will be like on race day, you’ll want to train in as many conditions as possible. If the course is known, go through it mentally each night before you go to bed so that way on race day, you’ve been to the course at least seven times. Lastly, if it is a high mileage race like the Crim 10-mile race, I recommend running long distances to prepare your body for the mileage, roughly eight to 12 miles at least three times a week. If it is a 5K race, try running between two and five miles at least three times a week. Be sure to build up to those mileage amounts as doing too much too fast can result in injury. Also take it easy on the the week leading up to the race to rest your muscles.
2. Get enough sleep, eat well, and hydrate
Although it is common practice to sleep well the nights leading up to a race (about eight hours each night) and to stay hydrated, eating comes down to the runner. Obviously, eat healthy and have plenty of carbohydrates with a meal of pasta, salad, and fruit the night before the race. Personally, I eat very little before I run and have to have a smaller dinner the night leading up to a race to perform well, but I had friends in high school who needed to eat before a run. Again, you will figure out what your body needs after you start running.
3. Warm-up and stretch before the race
Be sure to run at least a few miles before the beginning of each race and stretch. This will get your body ready by warming up your muscles before the start of the race.
4. Run your own race
If you plan on running with a friend, this may not apply except when picking up the tempo. As for everyone else, run your own race. In other words, do not compare yourself to other runners during the race. It is especially hard if you mentally think that someone should be faster than you, but if he or she has a bad race, you may actually be faster. And while you are racing against others, you are also racing against yourself in case there is a time that you want to beat. If you are just starting to run, I suggest setting a goal of no walking. Then you can worry about bringing your time down.
5. Have fun
This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give. Unless you plan on breaking 5-or 6-minute miles at the Crim, do not expect to win your age group. Instead, just have fun. I try to make a certain time but enjoy the race as well. If I do compete in a smaller race, then I may focus on winning the race or my age group, but for big races like the Crim, I enjoy it for what it is. After all, how many times can you say that you’ve ran with 10,000 other people?