Last weekend I ran what I like to call an ‘accidental PR.’ I didn’t set out to race a PR, but I was fortunate enough to do so. In light of this happy accident, I’ve put together a few tips on how you can get an accidental PR of your own*.
Take all pressure of yourself before the race. This is so key. I knew I wanted to run this one for fun and so the time goals I set were goals that I knew I could easily accomplish. My “A” goal was well under my PR because I was not running this race for time.
Carb load like a boss the night before. I typically do not carb load. I actually don’t really change my diet before a big race except to maybe add more salt to it. But the night before my accidental PR, I was all about the carbs. Turns out, carb loading is fun!
Recognize that wine has carbs and order a second glass at dinner. Turns out, carbs can be REALLY fun!
Ignore your watch until the very last mile. Since I wasn’t running for time, I decided to cover my watch up and ignore it until mile 12. I’d never done this before and it felt so freeing. I just ran based on how I felt. I felt good and like I could work hard during the race, so that’s what I did. I asked my friend running next to me to not tell me our pace because I really didn’t want to be worried about pace. This is probably my number one tip and goes right along with taking all the pressure away!
Get a last minute push from a fast friend. I ran into one of my old coaches during mile 12 and she pushed to run my fastest mile of the day. If you can position someone who will push you in that last mile when you are almost done, you can take your fun run into PR territory.
Of course, PRs are not usually the goal for me and while I definitely appreciated and was grateful for my accidental PR, I just had such a blast at the race that time didn’t matter. I have another race this weekend and I think I’ll follow my accidental PR plan again because it was just so much fun!
*I say a few of these tips in jest—drinking wine the night before a race might lead to the exact opposite of a PR—don’t say I didn’t warn you!