Ensure that nothing goes wrong in competition with this tips for your first race.
Even the most experienced runners are stressed (do we stress?) the days before a major competition. All the effort and hours invested to achieve our goal should be transformed into a pleasant and relaxing situation at the start, with the sole purpose of giving everything on the asphalt.
In order to ensure that nothing leaves the days and hours before the starting shot, here are some keys that will also help you at such an important moment as that of the race: when the competition ends.
A WEEK EARLIER
Goodbye stress. Unlike longer distances, the 5- and 10-kilometre races have greater participation and support from runners and spectators, reason enough to have a great time. If the organizers and volunteers are going to do their best to have a good time, what to worry about? A common fear among novice runners is that of getting the last one. Seriously, there’s very little chance of that happening to you. The short distance races are open to all kinds of public and fitness states, so unless you decide to run from start to finish, you won’t have to be stuck to the broom car.
Identify the terrain. If you run in your city you can take advantage and do one of the training sessions prior to the competition in the circuit of the same one. So you’ll know when to squeeze and when to relax. You will also be able to observe the most dangerous points of the track where it is best to be sure. Spend some time in the exit area. For example, having visualized where you’ll park will avoid problems on day D.
Eat slowly. It is much better to increase the amount of carbohydrates in a continuous way than to get stuffy the night before. We tell you this from our own experience.
TWO DAYS EARLIER
Nothing new on the front. Forget about wearing new sneakers, trying new foods or trying experiments. The routine will do you good for the race and avoid scares.
Sit down. Try to stay on your feet as little as possible in the days leading up to the competition. Relax and if you can, leave your messages and shopping for next week.
Breakfast with head. Don’t gamble: Eat exactly what’s good for you (it gives you energy but doesn’t leave your stomach sick) on training days. Do not eat any solid food since the two hours prior to the race. A good example of breakfast: the typical yogurt shake with fruits, which has the right balance between carbohydrates and proteins without passing fiber (which can alter your intestine).
Leave everything ready. Prepare the clothes you are going to wear, the watch, the heart rate monitor, the keys… everything you need before bedtime. Try to rest for about eight hours.
Hook your dorsal. If they’ve given it to you before, it’s better to lose five minutes at home in placing it well with the safety pins than to spend precious time on the starting line to wear the safety pin. Of course, no leaving it at home.
THE DAY OF THE RACE
Drink carefully. Yes, you have to regulate your hydration well, but you should not overdo it when there is half an hour to go. If it’s too hot or your mouth is dry, have a drink. You can also use the water to rinse and spit. The key is to stay well hydrated all day long. A good calculation is to divide your weight by thirty to know the approximate liters you should consume. If you weigh 75 kilos, don’t drink more than two and a half liters.
Early risers…. Arrive at the start zone at least one hour before the start of the race. You have to warm up, maybe pick up the dorsal and the chip, go to the bathroom… Better not go too fast.
Identify yourself. It’s a good idea to write your name, address, phone number, e-mail and emergency phone number on the back of your bib. There are bracelets that also perform the function perfectly, you can order them as a gift.
The dumpster. Take a community trash bag to the race. We won’t ask you to collect the bottles from the ground: it can be useful when sitting on wet grass or as an improvised windcheater or rain jacket.
A handkerchief? There is nothing worse after a long wait in a bathroom than to discover that, on top of it, there is no cleaning paper. What’s called a brown one.
The right clothes. Even if you are a little chilly at the time of departure do not wear anything more than necessary. Dress like it’s 10 degrees cooler than the thermometer. There are runners who take old clothes to the starting area for, minutes before, throw it away and leave it to the charity.
With two objectives. Set two goals: one, if the race is perfect for you, and another as a back-up in case it’s hot, windy or any other impediment that complicates your day. If in the middle of your career you see that you will not be able to achieve your initial objective, you will need another secondary goal that motivates you to finish with strength. Better still, a third one that has nothing to do with your goal mark (maybe it could be to do the last mile at the top, not to waste a lot of time on the slopes or to train well the refreshments. Everything works!
Better sooner than later. If your cord is untied or you start to feel irritation, try to fix it before it’s too late. Line up in line. It’s best to put yourself in your drawer with a little time. Don’t wait until the last minute because what you gain in mobility you will lose in calm.
Start slow, keep up the pace. Let’s go with math: run the first 10 percent of the test a little slower than you normally would, so you can finish stronger. The seconds you could win at first by going faster than the target rhythm are lost when you burn. The same applies to the rest of the race: keep a steady pace to be able to attack at the end of the race.
AFTER THE GOAL
Keep moving. Keep moving. You cross the finish line, raise your arms and stand up? Fatal. You have to keep walking for at least 10 minutes to eliminate muscle stiffness and gradually lower your heart rate to rest. Don’t forget to stretch your legs, back and hips after the race.
Recharge. Normally at the finish line you’ll have some solid and liquid refreshment, but what the organisation has to offer may not suit you very well. The best thing to recover is something that has carbohydrates (to replenish your energy deposits) and protein (to recharge your muscles). Take it in the 30 minutes after the race. There are recovery sports drinks, energy bars or any food that does not deteriorate.
Keep the heat on. Change and put on dry clothes as soon as possible. After crossing the finish line your basal temperature will start to drop and sweaty clothes will only cool you more.
Keep going, keep going. Even if you are in pain the day after the race, it’s a good idea to do some low-impact activity such as swimming, biking or elliptical. This movement increases circulation in the damaged muscles and will help you get back on your feet much sooner. Remember to make it soft.
You’re ready for your first race. If you want, you can complement it with one of our training plans.
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