5 Things You Need to Do Before Running a Race : Running offers a multitude of benefits for people who want to live a more active life, and it’s a common past-time for people of all ages.
Running a race, however, isn’t as simple. You need to be prepared to put in some work, training, and preparation to get yourself in good shape for when you need to show up at the starting line. It can be a true test of endurance, which is why one needs to be ready days, or even weeks, ahead. Here are the 5 things you can do to make sure you’re all set and ready to go the distance:
Check that you have the proper race attire.
A night or two before the big race, have all of your racing clothes laid out. It can be hard to predict the weather accurately, but a good rule of thumb when dressing for races is to dress as if the temperature is 15 degrees hotter than expected. This is to account for how your body temperature will rise once you start running.
Furthermore, if the participants are required to wear custom-colored wristbands specific to the race, put them near your racing attire so you don’t have to scramble to look for them when the race day comes.
Avoid overexerting yourself before the race
A nice, casual jog can be a good warm-up right before the race. Some people, however, are tempted to do strenuous exercises or do challenging runs with the thought of preparing themselves for the race to come. This doesn’t work for everyone.
Remember, your muscles will need time to rest, too—one reason why you’ll find some runners actually avoiding any kind of running before the big race. Our advice is to keep it short and easy if you really want to run.
Get a good night’s sleep
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time joining a race or not, anyone can get the jitters. While a little pressure can be beneficial for keeping your brain alert, your body needs to rest so your muscles can heal from whatever strain you’ve recently put on them.
If you have trouble falling asleep, consider listening to relaxing music, meditating, or even putting on a movie to play in the background. The key is to get plenty of rest and relaxation through whatever methods are effective for you.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Eating proper food doesn’t just apply right before the race, but all throughout your preparation period. On the morning of the race, however, you will want to have something that’s high in carbohydrates but low in fat, fiber, and protein.
Examples of foods to avoid right before a race, because of the potential stomach problems they may cause, are the following:
– Cheese, milk, and other dairy products
– Spicy food
– Foods high in refined sugar (including some protein bars)
Load up on water the day before the race
Athletes typically need more water because they sweat out a lot of the fluids that they take in. For athletic men, the recommended water intake is around 13 glasses, while for athletic women it’s about 9 glasses.
The amount may slightly differ for your needs, but try to not go over the aforementioned recommended intake because over hydration can be just as bad for your health and running performance as dehydration.
Proper Preparation Can Make a Big Difference
Granted, different runners prepare differently for a race. It’s all about figuring out what works best for you. One thing that every athlete can agree on, however, is that proper preparation is what separates remarkable athletes from everyone else. While we do recommend that you experiment with different preparation methods, the 5 tips shared in this post are a great place to start. Make sure to start preparing well before the race starts and have fun every time you run, and you’ll easily see improvements in no time.
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