My very first official 5K race is complete! I ran the entire race and had a great time running. Shoutout to Ron B. and Marquia B. for joining my mission!
Through trial and error (mostly error) and notes from a Race Day Prep clinic, I have compiled a list of pointers for race day:
Before the race
- Plan, prepare, and hydrate.
- Research the race. Practice the route.
- DO NOT try anything new before race day (no new foods, clothes, gear, or workouts). You don’t want new foods souring your stomach, new clothes feeling uncoomfortable, new headphones continuously needing adjustment, sore muscles from a new workout. . .etc.
- Taper down workouts the week before.
- Load up on carbs the night before (for shorter races, this isn’t so critical).
- Lay out your clothes the night before.
- Sleep your normal amount the night before.
On race day
- Get there early! The energy is totally different, so you’ll want to calm your adrenaline.
- Warm up with dynamic stretches, get your heart rate up a bit, stretch.
- Don’t start too fast! Run your pace and finish strong.
- Listen to your body. Drink before you’re thirsty. >30 min run: rehydrate with water every 20 min (4-6 oz); >1.5 hours: electrolyte beverages are recommended.
- Run in negative splits: your first mile should be the slowest, speed up as you go. This is how you get your best time.
After race day
- It’s good to have 200 calories or less after running to get rid of any sick feelings.
- STRETCH, rest, and eat! Protein rich foods will help prevent soreness.
- Celebrate – You did it!! Whoop!!
- Socks are very important! “Cotton is rotten.” Dry, cool feet don’t blister. Left and right specific socks are better.
- Compression sleeves cut down on muscle vibrations and soreness. They also increase circulation, which can help prevent injuries.
- DO NOT forget a fanny pack or drawstring backpack
Now you know what I know! I can’t believe I actually ran the entire race, but my body is telling me it really happened. And I love the way it feels! Insert(VERB)Here: RUN. Yes, I did it!
©2013 by Ayana Martin