Skyway 10k is just around the corner. We wanted to offer tips on how to have your best Skyway 10k.
- Prep. The hay is in the barn. With the race being a few days away, it’s too late to realistically significantly improve your fitness. But here are some things you can do to put yourself in the best position to succeed.
- Make sure you know what you’re wearing before the race starts. Wash your laundry so your race-day clothes are clean and ready to go. Use the socks/shorts/shoes that are most comfortable to you and proven to work. Lay out a “Flat you” on the floor the day before the race to ensure that you have everything. Bonus points if you post a photo on social media.
- If your shoes are trashed, hurry up and get a pair using our StrideSmart Fit Process and spend the next few days wearing them to ensure they’re broken in and ready to go.
- We recommend Compression shorts for the bridge, Its no surprise that runners have been benefiting from compression shorts. They Increase blood flow through your legs, which is important. Compression shorts can help reduce muscle vibration during running, which can help prevent muscle fatigue, soreness, and injury.
- Wear tech running socks. They reduce friction and greatly diminish the chance you’ll have blisters. Make sure your socks don’t have cotten in them. Cotton is rotten.
- Fuel up on carbs preceding the race. Don’t over-do it either, but make sure you have enough carbohydrates in your system before the race. You don’t want to go into this race under-fueled. Also, since you’ll be waking up really early, it’s a good idea to have a small breakfast before the race. Try something like toast with a banana or some oatmeal.
- GET THERE EARLY and use the porta-potty. Whatever time you think you need to be there, try to arrive 30 minutes earlier than that. You can thank us later.
- Also, once you get off the busses and you’re walking to the start line, you will see porta-potties. Don’t use the first 5 or the last 5, there have typically been much shorter lines in the middle porta-potties. Make sure there’s TP in there before you do the deed.
- If you’re trying to win, and can run fast, go ahead and get to the front row. Otherwise, for your safety, scoot further back. It’s not safe for walkers to line up at the front of the race. We love walkers and don’t want you to get trampled.
- Remember that 60% of the race is FLAT! The sooner you get into your rhythm the better! Once the race starts, people are so full of energy that it’s easy to over-run the first 5-10 minutes. If you do that, you’ll pay for it later on. It’s typically a bad idea to “bank time” at the beginning of this race. Most people are better off starting with a conservative, steady approach.
- The First mile should be your slowest. Save some of your energy for the latter parts of the race. Focus on the 3 R’s. Relax, Rhythm, and roll.
- Once you get to the bridge, Expect to slow down a little bit, and that’s ok. Thankfully, the bridge is a steady gradient, so it’s easy to get a nice rhythm. Sync your breathing with your steps. Try inhaling for 2 steps and exhaling for 1. Lean slightly forward and above all, keep your cadence a bit higher, even if this means shortening your stride. For many of us, the shorter steps lead to increased ground contact time, and that helps keep your pace higher than using a longer more loping stride.
- If you’re towards the front of the field, try sliding over to the right. Stay just a few feet to the left of the cones which mark off the bus lane. Never get in the bus lane under any circumstances, even for a selfie. The right side of the road is often better because in previous years the busses which pass on your right will blow dust out into the runners. But, if you’re further right, the dust isn’t as big of a problem. You may consider wearing sunglasses with a clear or lighter lense in them to help protect your eyes.
- When you hit the top, make sure you look around and appreciate the experience. Enjoy. This is a luxury.
- On the way down the bridge, open up your stride, lean slightly forward and not back. This is where you make up the time. Increase your effort.
- On your right you will see cones. Get up to your maximum sustainable pace. This is the pace you think you can hold all the way to the finish (and not much farther.) Then, count how many steps you take between cones. Try to keep that step rate the same and HANG ON. Typically, the cones are all equidistant apart. Counting can sometimes take your mind off the pain you’re experiencing late into a race.
- Once you hit the bottom of the bridge, just know you’re getting close but not quite there. Focus on cadence, posture, and keeping that breathing rhythm. Pain level should be pretty high at this point. It’s likely your legs will be burning. Keep going. Start striking all the matches in your book, meaning this is where you should be expending a lot of energy. But save 2 matches for the end.
- There is one last little uphill just before the finish. Use 1 match there, and 1 just after the small hill to get you to the finish line.
- Once you get to the finish keep moving forward and keep walking as you cool down. You’ll get some water on the bus as you head back to Tropicana field.
Once you get back to Tropicana parking lot. The celebration truly begins. Get some food and water before you start downing adult beverages. Also, swing by the St. Pete Running Company booth at Tropicana and let us know how you did. Good luck!
Want make improvements in your running? Check out our popular track program.