I have been half heartedly pushing myself to get a bit faster recently, at least on my short runs. For me that’s under 9 minute miles for a 5 mile run.
But, it hasn’t quite happened, until this morning. Here’s what I think went right.
I rested the day before. Surprisingly it’s easier to run hard when you are not exhausted.
I slept well. I had a light healthy dinner after a yoga class and read before bed.
I ate well the whole day before. It wasn’t just dinner. I had a smoothie for breakfast, a light lunch of mostly vegetables, and a quinoa salad for dinner. I know, you can cut the self-congratulation with a knife from Williams Sonoma.
I skipped the booze. Not a drop. Hence, deep sleep uninterrupted by trips to the bathroom. This was the hardest part.
None of this is any great insight, of course. But the lesson for me was simple: peak performance begins well before the actual performance. As I age, I can’t cut those corners anymore. The simple basics can’t be overlooked.
I don’t plan to make a habit of the “no booze” thing, though.