8 Race Day Preparation Tips for Runners

Happy Monday friends! It is the last week of the month. How many people are floored by the fact we’re approaching the 3rd month of 2013. Yikes. I’ll let you sit on that a moment…then today I have a fun guest post. A little like last week’s I simply liked the tips and am reminding people how to get back to basics, since that’s where I am with my training again. Ken’s piece gives a different view on how to train and the way you should move your body. I know over the past I’ve grown more into minimal shoes and short/quick turnover. Here is a view for those believing a longer stride is their cup of tea. Oh and Ken does link to UltraSlide, but let me ask you something…have you ever used one? It is seriously a dream of mine to own one…haha. Anyway…away we go to the post…

8 Race Day Preparation Tips for Runners

Whether you’re training for a half-marathon or a full on racing competition, as a serious runner you cannot afford not to be primed for race day. Starting a regular workout program now and putting your training first should be a priority. Even if you think you are in the best shape of your life, you can improve your performance as a runner by prepping now for race day.

Establish your running stride. Many runners make the mistake of thinking their natural stride will get them through a race. But actually this stride may not be as efficient on your body’s energy reserves during a long distance race. Take the time to lengthen your stride as you do your practice runs. Reach out further with your legs and arms to increase the distance that each stride has, for improved time and efficiency.

Increase running resistance. While you may be used to running for up to an hour at a time or more, your race may require you to run for several hours or all day. This means you will need to increase your resistance by increasing your time each practice session. You will also need to condition your breathing and body strength. Add five-minutes to each timed running session each week, until you can comfortably run for up to 3 hours without stopping.

Choose the right shoes. The most important racing elements, besides physical strength and endurance, is having shoes that fit right and support your most precious body parts – your feet. This means getting fit for running shoes that are the correct size, width, and structure for your feet. Don’t wait until a few days before the race to buy your shoes. Get them and break them in at least two-weeks before race day.

Energy boosting diet. In terms of your body’s ability to run for longer distances and times, you will want to focus on a diet that includes plenty of protein and vitamin rich foods. This will help you to have more energy and strength reserves when you feel low during the race.

Strengthen your body. In addition to getting enough rest and eating right, you need to work on some strength training outside of running. This primes all your muscle groups for the running event ahead. Use kettle weights or resistance bands to tone your arms, legs, and back muscles. Take calcium supplements or add more dairy to your diet for strong bones and muscles.

Go the distance. In addition to being stronger, you will need to prep your body for the increased time you will be running. Take the time to add a quarter-mile per week to your running routine, so that by race-day you will be ready.

Track your heart rate. Your heart will be taking on additional stress while you prepare for your race. Wear a heart monitor and get yourself into a comfortable rhythm as part of your physical fitness routine. You never want to increase your heart rate too rapidly, which can cause you to experience fatigue and possibly do damage to your heart.

Breathe easier. Your breathing rate and the depth of your breathing has much to do with your ability to run for long distances in a marathon. Take time for meditation that includes deep breathing exercises to expand the lungs and increase capacity.

About the author: Kennith Campbell writes about running and other fitness and training topics.  Kennith is a writer for ultraslide.com.

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