You know the feeling. You tough it up a long hill and it’s such a relief to hit the top. Time for a breather, slow down or even stop to catch our breath, rest those tired legs before getting back into the racing groove.
Here’s something that works and can improve your overall race performance. At the crest of the hill instead of easing off put in a few quick, but short, fast strides to regain your race-pace leg turnover (cadence). Who knows you may even pass a few runners in the process!. This will help you to get your momentum back as you continue chasing after your race goal.
Turns and obstacles on a cross country course are another place, like hills, that interrupts and can also slow your momentum. But as with the above note about charging over the crest of hills, think the same with sharp turns. You will need to slow for the turn, but as soon as you are around it run a few quick strides, get back on race pace quickly and catch some of your opposition napping. So next race, when you see a hill or turn coming up, think “opportunity”.
Give it a try with your next race. Let me know how it feels.