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Trot By All Means, But Don’t Be a Turkey

BY LUKE REYNOLDS
PHOTO BY SHERISE VD ON UNSPLASH

Every year when the leaves begin to change, banners and promotional material begin  popping up at every gym, boathouse, and workplace advertising local turkey trots. Whether it’s a 5K or 10K, the trot is an excellent opportunity to vary a rower’s normal fall training. 

When it comes to running, jogging or walking a 5K or 10K most rowers should be able to transition easily, considering the demands that typical high-school or college training for rowing impose on a rower’s body. That said, there are a few strategies to consider before lacing up and hitting the pavement.

For starters, head into the race with a clear goal. Are you looking to win the race? If so, you’re more than likely going to want to put in more training. Consider doing Yasso 800s or another speed workout to get comfortable at a faster pace than your normal pre-rowing-practice warm-up run. 

Turkey trots may seem fun and low key,  but more than likely there are runners in your community who spend a lot more time… well, running… than we rowers do. These runners can probably throw down a pretty aggressive split, so it’s worth checking times from previous events to determine whether winning or finishing close to the front is feasible. 

Don’t worry: We all know who can pull a faster 2K, and don’t forget: Head-racing season isn’t over yet. 

If you’re looking just to enjoy a leisurely jaunt through the fall foliage or spend some time with your family before the big meal, take it easy and begin in the middle or back of the pack as a considerate nod to those who want to hit the pavement a little harder.

Make sure you don’t fly and die. Everyone experiences pre-race jitters, but it’s imperative  that nervousness not interfere with your race plan. Sprinting the first two miles will result only in the local cross-country team cruising past you smugly as you try not to pass out with a crippling cramp. Plan your race, and race your plan. 

Most important: Don’t get injured. Fall is ideal for cross-training opportunities such as local foot races, but the ultimate goal is to be sitting in a boat at a 2K starting line next spring in perfect health. It’s not worth sacrificing the exhilarating chance to race on the water later for the prize of a pumpkin pie now.

The Workout: 

Yasso 800s

Named after Bart Yasso, an esteemed runner and chief running officer of Runner’s World magazine, Yasso 800s are a classic running workout designed to help predict a runner’s marathon time. For 5Ks and 10Ks, the workout is an effective way to boost your heart rate and pace your race. 

* Run 10 x 800-meter repetitions on the track at your goal time with an easy jog recovery of 400 meters.

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