Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Prep For Your Race

Race prep starts long before race day. You're in shape, you've picked your race and registered for it. What else is there to do but show up?



The week before your race:
  -You want to take it a little easier with training the week before your race. Don't do anything that in your running routine that will leave you stiff or sore or injured. Plan some nice, easy runs to help keep you loose and ready for your race. But, don't take time off, try to stick to a pretty mild, normal running routine.

- Make sure you know how you're getting to and from your race and that you know what time you're going to get there. That's not something you want to stress over while you're preparing for your first race.

- Get to know the course. You could show up race day with out knowing the course well, and if it's well marked you'll still do ok. But it helps to know the course so you know what to expect and whats coming up next in the race. You'll know where to push yourself a little harder this way.

 - Relax! There are a huge variety of people running these races. Walkers, joggers, runners, elite runners, newbies etc. And every one of them all worry about coming in last or not doing as well as they wanted. These races are meant to build up communities, even though races are competitive, you're all cheering for each other. And most likely, you won't be the one coming in last.

Three days before your race:
  -The registration packet pick up is probably started by now. Go get your packet. It usually has a few goodies from the sponsors. The stuff in it entirely depends on the race and its sponsors. Usually it will have  a T-shirt and some kind of protein bar and some other small things, but it also has your bib number in it. DO NOT LOSE THAT! That is the one thing you need for the race.



  -Don't do anything new. Don't go get new shoes, don't try a new restaurant, don't go on new runs or try other new workouts. Don't try anything new. You want to be comfortable and healthy for your race. Trying new foods, drinks, or getting new shoes will only make it that more likely that you wont be ready.

The day before your race:
- Put all of your stuff in the same spot. You don't want to be forgetting anything you want or need for your race.



  -If you like to run with music, make sure your ipod (or whatever else you use) is charged and that your playlist is ready to go.


  -Go on a light (really light) easy run. Maybe a mile or two, just to keep you loose. No hills, no speed, just a light jog so you aren't too tight.

 -The most important thing you can do the night before a race, is to get a good nights sleep. Try not to stay up too late. And try to get around eight hours of sleep.

The day is here! Race day:
  -Get up at least two hours before you need to be at your race. Especially if you're not usually a morning runner. This will give you enough time for your body to wake up and for your brain, lungs and legs to all be ready to run.


  -Get to the race early. If you have to catch a shuttle, make sure your at the meeting point at least fifteen minutes before the last shuttle leaves. If you miss the shuttle, you'll have to find your own way to the starting line. And you want a good place at the starting line. You also want to make sure you have time to use the bathroom and do a little warming up.

 -Don't over dress. Most races start in the morning, and even though it's cooler in the morning, you'll be warm once you start running. And you don't want to have to undress and worry about carrying around extra clothes when you do warm up. If you do want to wear extra clothing, be prepared to go back and look for it when you're done or maybe wear some you're not super attached to so that if you don't find it, you wont care so much.
Sometimes races will have "drop bags". That means if you want to dress warm while you wait at the starting line, you can. And then when you're ready, you can leave a bag of whatever you don't want to carry at the starting line. The race volunteers will pick the bags up and take them down to the finish line for you. If that's the case, be sure to clearly mark your bag and your belongings with your name and bib number so that they can identify you easily.

 -Last minute check. Make sure your shoes are tied, your playlist is selected and you're ready to go.

Enjoy it! Races are fun, even if you're not a natural born runner. Don't stress so much, just enjoy the run. You'll be able to meet a ton of new people and hopefully make some new friends. And at the end of the day, the only one who needs to be proud of how you did is you.


3 comments:

  1. I'm running my first 5k this summer and I'm super nervous! Thanks for the tips!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yay! 5ks are so fun. Don't be too nervous, just have fun running it. Good luck!

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