It’s the day before the big race. This is your first one and you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to do. Everyone’s giving you advice. But what is right for YOU?
Here’s some top tips for you to do today, to have a great race tomorrow.
Stop Training –
I hope you have stopped the major training and are giving your body the break it needs before the big day. The day before your race, YOGA!! But gentle yoga, you don’t want to stretch yourself into a pulled hamstring. Gently and kindly stretch your muscles that you’ve worked so hard.
Another great idea is to give yourself a great foam roll massage! Roll out any knots you may have spending time on your hamstrings and calves.
Everyone says “start carb-loading”! This DOES NOT mean, go out an eat a plate of pasta!! What you should be doing is eating a few more complex carbohydrates during the 2 days prior. Sweet potatoes/yams, short grain brown rice, quinoa, whole grain cous cous, steel cut and thick cut oatmeal (not quick oats) are good choices to have with your meals. Don’t have an extra portion, your normal portion size is fine, but just have one at each meal during the day along with your veggies and lean protein. And for goodness sake, don’t eat anything you haven’t tried before! This is not the time to experiment! Eat the foods you normally eat and know you can digest normally. Otherwise instead of running the course, you’ll be running for the Port-O-John!
Get some sleep! Sleep is so important the few days before a race. You don’t want to go into a long race/hike being sleep deprived. You’ll feel like crap, cranky and not at your best. So go to bed early!
Prep Your Gear –
The day before, get your gear together. There is nothing worse on your mental state than forgetting something important. Get your gear together now. Make a checklist on your computer so you’ll have it for future races, print it out and gather everything together.
Race Entry Papers
Snacks (Homemade GORP)
Change of Clothes
Garbage bag for dirty clothes
Cooler with food for after
Map to the event
Any Hotel reservations
Fill the car with gas
Race Day –
Day of the race, wake up a little earlier and get your body plenty of time to get up to speed. Eat your pre-race meal! Again, nothing different or heavy! But you do want a few carbs in there. My breakfast never changes, but the ingredients I add vary slightly. I will have a Vegan Chocolate Shakeology shake with 1/3 C raw oats (normally 1 Tbsp), 2 Tbsp natural nut butter (normally 1Tbsp), 1 frozen banana (normally 1/2), 1 C unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, 1 C water, dash of cinnamon & 1 Scoop Chocolate Vegan Shakeology. Blend with 5-6 Ice Cubes for the best No Bake Cookie Pre Race Meal!!
If you have time, get a little stretch in, do a little yoga or Qi Gong (to get you mentally ready) and a little foam roll to loosen you up.
Once you get there, start warming up about about 15-20 minutes before your start time. Take your pre-race Energy & Endurance shot and then start your warm up. Run in place, get your heart rate up a bit with some jumping jacks, walking lunges and other dynamic stretches. Make sure your legs are fully warm and your heart is ready to go!
Throughout the race if you’re able, keep hydrated and about every hour, try to take an energy shot of some kind. If you’re hiking, grab a snack about every 2 hours.
After Your Race –
Congratulations! You finished!! Don’t forget your cool down stretch!! You’ve just worked yourself like crazy, now stretch out those muscles, GENTLY!!!
Within 30 minutes of finishing, make sure you drink your results and recovery along with a lot of water. A banana with nut butter or a whole grain PB sammich is a good idea. Within the hour or two after the event, you are going to need some food. Hopefully you packed a cooler with smart and healthy choices. If not, get some healthy protein in your body, try to avoid going for the cheeseburger and fries mentality thinking that you’ve “earned it”! That kind of food is nothing you earn! It’s not helpful for recovery, it’s actually harmful. Stick with the better choices you made while training. Don’t go overboard because you “worked off a ton of calories”. Eat smart and be that much ahead of the game for you next race!!
Good Luck and most of all HAVE FUN!!!
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Jen Leppert is a Full time Mom, Wife, Mountain Girl and fitness coach who works with clients to help them reach their goals. Jen struggled with back pain, boring exercises, and plateaus in her progress for years until she discovered the solution that helped her lose over 30 pounds, over 2 pants sizes and keep it off . Whether you need to lose a lot of weight or a little, or need a way to get out of your rut, or if you want to make an income helping others reach their goals, Jen will help you get the results that you deserve. It is never too late to start. Click Here to get started.