Race Weekend Fitness Tips
By Stephanie Woodard on May 16 / 2016
Here you are days away from the big weekend. You’ve made the decision to participate in this year’s event, registered for your race, trained to achieve your goal, lined up your sponsors and supporters, and now it’s almost go time! As race day approaches, here are a few helpful fitness tips.
The Day Before the Race
Keeping it light and easy the day before the race is ideal. Watching a movie or reading a book you find inspiring. If you have a lot of nervous energy to burn, you can take a walk, a leisurely cycle or swim, or other activities you enjoy that are light and easy. I suggest not running or doing any cross training the day before the race. Consider trying the technique of visualization while you’re relaxing during the day. Get comfortable, close your eyes, breathe deeply, maybe play some relaxing music or some of your favorite tunes, and envision yourself in the run. Think positively about all the work you’ve put into your training, and what a great cause you are part of. If this is your first time at the event, you might enjoy reviewing the route. You may have received a copy of the course map in your race kit, or can look it up on the website.
Research suggests that the perfect warm up for a race, especially the longer distances and more intense efforts, has 3 components: warming up the muscles, kick starting the metabolic system (the system that delivers energy to your working muscles), and priming the neuromuscular system (the communication system between your brain and muscles).
The muscles can be warmed with 5-10 minutes of light jogging, around 20-30 minutes before the start of the race. Following this light jogging warm up of your muscles, try transitioning into some mobility exercises, which will help you prime your energy delivery and communication systems. Some examples are:
- walking lunge (take 20 large steps forward with a significant knee bend)
- gentle torso twists (with your elbows bent and your abdominals braced gently rotate your torso side to side and tap your toe, 10 on each side)
- leg swings (controlled kicking movements with your legs in multiple directions such as forward, out to the side, and gently back)
- gentle heel raises (use a wall or buddy for support and rise up slowly on your toes and slowly back down10 times)
Good luck and enjoy race day!
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