Race day is approaching fast and the majority of runners and walkers have completed their high intensity and longer mileage runs or walks. Jeff Sorg, Director of OrthoIndy Physical Therapy, provides a few pre race preparation tips and reminders that can allow you to be successful on race day.
Keep up a regimen of low intensity activity
This can include shorter mileage runs and walks, or other means of cardiovascular activity that your body is familiar with. Your cardiovascular endurance you have built up over the previous months will not reduce or suffer during this time.
However, your body will continue to maintain its muscle memory, while at the same time continue to heal from the stress and strain of your previous months long distance training. In addition to cardio, you should perform some daily light stretching, dynamic activities and core strengthening to prevent injuries.
The goal of hydrating is to help avoid the effects of dehydration on race day. Hydration is ongoing and not something you do just the day or two prior to race day. Hopefully you have been properly hydrating throughout the training season, and if so, there is no reason to excessively increase your water and fluid intake.
The week prior to the event, you can increase water intake by a glass or two per day. However, excessively increasing fluid intake can actually have negative effects on your hydration level as you will find yourself urinating more frequently. This happens because your body is ridding itself of excess fluid.
The foods you eat prior to race day can be vital to your success and nutrition
Leading up to the race, you can actually benefit from increasing your intake of carbohydrates, such as including pasta, rice and bread into your diet. A slight increase in snacks throughout the day can be very beneficial. We recommend eating yogurt topped with granola and fruit or an English muffin with peanut butter.
On race day, you should not run or walk on an empty stomach. It is recommended to have a small breakfast at least two hours prior to the race. Prior to race day, do not introduce anything new or atypical into your diet. Use your training runs, and races you’ve completed during training as a guide on how your body reacts and feels.
Pre race preparation is important
One factor to consider is parking. Try to plan parking with your after-race walk to your vehicle in mind, rather than pre-race proximity to your starting location. You can always use that pre-race distance as an opportunity to get a light jog or brisk walk as a warm-up prior to start of the event. In addition, incorporate dynamic activities such as leg swings, jumping jacks, directional lunges will get your body ready to cover the distance.
With proper training, hydration and nutrition, you can give yourself an optimal chance to have a successful and healthy run.
Even with the best of training, injuries can occur. If you find yourself having post-race pain or injuries, OrthoIndy Physical Therapy is here to help, no referral necessary.