Racing Wisely helps you think through every aspect of race day, from choosing the right goal race to packing to pacing and strategy. These questionnaires, worksheets, and checklists are explained in full detail in the book. Here are PDF versions for reference, as well as Word versions for you to customize and use to reach your personal best. Click on the file title to download.
If you are running with music, please be attentive to the course. You can add these 15- to 30-second form cue snippets to your playlist.
Race wisely to achieve your personal best.
You’ve trained for your peak race for months. When the big day comes, how will you perform? All the training in the world is useless if you can’t execute your race plan and cope with unforeseen events, and subpar training can be overcome if you approach race day with the right attitude.
Whether you are new to racing or have been frustrated by underperformance or setbacks, Racing Wisely gives you tools—from the practical to the philosophical—to perform to the best of your ability. You’ll learn how to:
- Choose the right race for your personal strengths
- Test yourself in training to identify the right race pace and effort
- Write a race plan that helps you feel calm, prepared, and in control
- Manage your energy in the week, days, and hours before the race
- Warm up properly to race at your best
- Pace correctly for races of every distance
- Race for a personal-best time, or race competitively for place
- Recover physically and mentally to set up your next personal best
Coach Sage Rountree provides concrete tips and pacing tools for athletes racing endurance events including open-water races, bike races, track, road, and trail running, multisport races, and adventure races. Learn to plan and execute perfect pacing as you race to your personal best, and gain tools to make the best of whatever situation emerges on race day.
Learn to race wisely: to use your experience to grow stronger, to move faster, and to come through when it really counts.
“Sage Rountree has made a career of filling the gaps in guidance for endurance athletes, and she has done it again with this comprehensive and practical guide. Whether your usual race goal is to finish or to win, Sage’s collected wisdom will give you a huge boost toward consistently performing at your personal best in competition. Whatever is holding you back from racing as well as you could, you will find a way through it in these pages.”
—from the foreword by Matt Fitzgerald, author of Racing Weight and The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition
“Runners spend so much time on training: week after week after week. Sometimes, it seems that that’s all we talk about. But the end goal is the race. Unfortunately, we don’t always put in the same dedication to planning a successful race as we do planning our training. Racing Wisely provides that often missing ingredient of race preparation and will help runners put all their great training to good use when it counts—the race. Sage Rountree understands performance, and this guide will prove invaluable for goal-oriented athletes.”
—Greg McMillan, coach, McMillan Running, and author of YOU (Only Faster)
“Racing Wisely delivers exactly what you hope for from a smart yogi-runner-triathlete: thoughtful insight about goals, intentions, and actions told in an engagingly conversational, down-to-earth style. I love that this book offers practical and philosophical advice for the whole spectrum of athletes, from serious goal-driven competitors to more experiential but just as passionate casual athletes. A great addition to the thinking runner’s library.”
—Tish Hamilton, Executive Editor, Runner’s World
“In Racing Wisely, Sage Rountree delivers the clearest truths and best secrets of training and racing endurance sports. First timers and veterans will benefit from the wisdom and excellent writing, which combine to allow every reader access to their best athletic performance and best self.”
—Ian Murray, USA Triathlon elite coach
“The title Racing Wisely doesn’t do justice to this book, a comprehensive, accessible guide to choosing, training for, and performing your best in any endurance race. Whether you’re doing your first 5K or your fifth Ironman, you can benefit from Sage Rountree’s smart, holistic perspective.”
—Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, another mother runner, authors of Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother
“Sage Rountree’s Racing Wisely is the most comprehensive and sound advice on how to be a ‘smart’ athlete. Through the wisdom she shares with both wit and her vast coaching experience, Rountree guides her readers through the tricky nuances of race prep and execution. The book reads like a friendly and supportive conversation, never intimidating but always intelligent and motivating. It’s a must-read guide for any athlete looking to perform—and experience—a race to his or her fullest potential.”
—Kristina Pinto, coach, author, Fit and Healthy Pregnancy
“An important fundamental characteristic of a good coach is the ability to acknowledge that they don’t know it all, nor do they always have all the answers. A dynamic coach learns from his or her mistakes and applies those new understandings to the next athlete they work with. In Racing Wisely, Sage Rountree compresses a life’s worth of personal and fellow athlete experiences, mistakes, and successes into one reference. Coaches and athletes now have a manual at their fingertips that will prevent them or those they’re working with from making calamitous race-week and race-day mistakes. What’s more, even if you believe you’ve got a successful strategy in place, this guidebook steers even the best teacher and student toward a more effective and efficient game plan. Though some of the advice revealed is tried and true lessons we all know, many of the tips Sage discusses aren’t so obvious. It’s worth taking a spin through this book to discover what race-winning logistics and direction you might be missing. I’ve used Sage’s other literary works, The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery and The Runner’s Guide to Yoga, for my own writing and coaching purposes. Racing Wisely will certainly be added to this reference list.”
—Ian Torrence, ultrarunning coach, McMillan running; finisher of more than 175 ultramarathons
“Tips for Racing Wisely,” excerpt, Trail Runner Magazine
“Racing Wisely: Wise Mental Skills,” excerpt, Competitor Running
“Cycling Race or Event Day Strategies and Tactics,” Cycling 360 podcast interview with Sage
“Making Racing Simple,” Runners Connect podcast interview with Sage