Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Prepare for Your Turkey Trot

Turkey Day is less than 24hrs away!  Did you know Thanksgiving is the most popular day to run a road race? It’s true.  If you plan on running tomorrow, here are a few last minute tips to ensure you have a successful race:

1.     Race Day Eve Plan

Fuel Your Race 

Although most Turkey Trots are 5 miles long or less, it is still important to think about what you're eating the day before your race.  Avoid fatty foods which take the body longer to digest.  Foods that are high in fiber should also be temporarily removed from your meals.  While a diet rich in high fiber foods such as whole grains, legumes, and fruits is recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle on most days, eating high fiber foods the day before your race could upset your stomach on race day.  Choose refined carbohydrates for pre-race day meals. Think regular versus whole wheat pasta.  

Get Ready

Gather all of your race day supplies so you are ready to go the next morning.  Lay out all of your clothes, a dry shirt you can wear after the race, water, and your race bib and safety pins if you have them.  If it will be cold in your race day town, be sure to take out gloves and a hat or headband for your ears Old socks work well as “mittens” you can easily toss if you find you don’t need them half-way through your run. 

If you have a race packet, you may want to review the race route.  Knowing where bathroom and water stops are located ahead of time will help you during the race.  You’ll also get an idea of other landmarks and whether or not your race will have each mile posted for you.  You can also use these materials to inform any fans where you’ll want to meet them after the event.  

Sweet Dreams

Twas the night before race day and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.  You’re going to fall right asleep right away, right? No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Try to relax.  Hopefully you got enough sleep the previous few days.  The sleep you get the night before won’t make or break your race day results.

2.     Race Day Tips

Eat Something Light Before Your Turkey Trot

Eat something light at least two hours before your race.  Again, stick to low fiber and fat foods, but don't try something you haven't eaten before a run in the past.  Race day is not the time to try some new food. At least not before your race. Save your bravery for your Thanksgiving meal.  

Have Fun!

Enjoy the race! Laugh at or join people dressed up like turkeys. High five your fans and burn some calories before your turkey dinner with a smile. Most races are big events so you are not likely to post a PR (personal record).  If it's your first race, your goal should be to finish.  Try to inspire some of your cheerleaders this year to join you at the start line next Turkey Day.

3.     Post-race

Get into some dry clothes so you feel comfortable on the ride home. Make sure you drink water to rehydrate before indulding in any holiday beverages.  

Are you running a Turkey Trot this year?  What do you think of this holiday tradition? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below: