Getting ready to run your next race? Whether you are running your first race or have been running for years, follow these basic tips to help prepare you for the big day.
1. Prepare yourself physically
Planning to run a marathon? Set your goal and start practicing your pace for your expected time. You will want to do some interval training, including rest periods. Run several miles a few times a week, and work to increase the lengths of your runs. Work to build your endurance and build up strength. If possible, do a practice run under the same conditions you expect to compete in.
2. Prepare yourself mentally
Running is just as much about being mentally fit as physically fit. Talk to yourself, encourage yourself to go one more mile or five more minutes. Check out the racecourse weeks before the race so that you know where the tough spots are, so there are no surprises to throw you off during the race.
3. Be prepared for bad weather
Even if the weather is chilly or wet, you don’t have to stay indoors. Warm-up inside to get your body ready; then get right into your run as soon as you get outside.
4. Pushing through the pain
Top runners have said the ability to keep running while experiencing discomfort or pain is an important part of running. Once you set your base with the number of miles you can run, it will depend on your pain tolerance. Most runners suffer from one discomfort or another. Mental strength can help get you through some of your pain if you are able to convince yourself you can keep going.
5. Some don'ts to be aware of
Don’t forget to warm-up. It prevents injuries and ensures your muscles are ready for your run. If you have properly prepared yourself for the race, warming up is not going to fatigue you.
Do not rest the day before the race. It is a myth that you need to rest the day before a race in order to re-energize. This only makes your legs tire more easily during the race. Running the day before a race will actually help your muscles store extra glycogen.
Do not expect the race to go as planned. Never assume you know exactly how the race will go. Always prepare for the unexpected so that you are ready to deal with whatever may happen.
6. What to eat and drink while running
It’s critical to have a strategy in place, knowing how you will ingest energy and maintain hydration during the race. Drink early and drink often, do not wait for your body to tell you it needs fluids. Drink something with sugar, such as Gatorade at your first stop to refuel your body. About 45 minutes into the run, ingest some solid fuels.
Some high GI carbohydrates to eat while running are:
7. Before the race hacks