Monday, March 3, 2014

Get Ready, Get Set, Run Your Best Road Race!



The Flashback 5K/10K Fitness Run and Fitness Expo is just under three weeks away.  If you’ve signed up as a participant, you may be wondering what you can do the last few days to ensure that your race is a success.  You’ve come to the right place! Although I love working with all my fitness clients, my runners are my favorites.  That’s because I first started to enjoy exercise when I picked up the sport some 15+ years ago.  With many races under my belt I’ve learned a lot. Before you toe the line, check out my tips to make sure you’re truly race ready!

Tip 1: Find the right footwear


If you’re a new runner, you may be running in your regular fitness kicks.  However, if you want to continue your running habit for a long time, investing in the proper footwear is a must!  The first thing I tell clients interested in picking up running, is to purchase shoes from a specialty shoe store.  Yes, it will cost you  more money.  However, you can always purchase the same model online for future races.  

If you think you’ll just be a running shoe daredevil and wear your old tennis shoes, think again! You might save yourself some money now, but you’ll also be  increasing your chance of injury.  Running is a very inexpensive sport. You don’t need a gym to “play” it and you don’’t need any equipment other than yourself and your running shoes to enjoy it.  In addition to preventing injury, your properly fitted running kicks will also keep you from getting  black toenails.  Unless you’re planning on a free goth pedicure to complement your black flip flops or want to see what your toes look like without toenails, get yourself to a running store, stat! You still have time to break in a new pair if you wear them around your home and while running errands.

Tip 2:  Trot with technology

One of the most difficult parts of racing is learning how to properly pace yourself.  When your adrenaline is pumping at the starting line, it’s hard to hold back during mile one.  However, if you’re able to pace yourself correctly by running each mile slightly faster than the last, you might just run your PR (personal best) on race day!  A fitness gadget can help you with your pacing and is something you can still set up  before race day.  If you have a smartphone, you can download a free app such as MapMyRun and purchase an armband so you can race handsfree.  Otherwise, Polar and Garmin make some great tracking devices.  

If you’re in the market for a piece of technology to trot with later this month, check out Heart Rate Monitors USA. It’s my go-to shop for  fitness gadgets because they always offer free shipping and usually have the best prices.  Another great place to look for a fitness gadget online  is Amazon.  

Tip 3: Fuel your workouts properly

With a few runs before race day, it’s good to test out your pre race meal plan and make sure you’re properly refueling your body after each run.  The type of food that will work best for you is something that you’ll have to figure out through trial and error. However, you definitely don’t want to try something that doesn’t work the morning before your race!  Foods that generally work well will be mostly comprised of carbohydrates. However, try not to eat something with a lot of whole grans unless you’re eating more than an hour before you run (otherwise, you could make your tummy upset).  

If you can, try out your pre-race food plan within the same time frame as you would eat it on race day.  I advise my clients to experiment with foods the two weeks prior to the race by waking up at the same time they’ve decided on for race day, eating the same pre race snack they’ve selected, and running the distance of their race. I’d recommend that you try the same technique to avoid and tummy trouble on race day. 

While you won’t need to refuel during a 5K or 10K race, you may want to try some of the energy gels that runners who train for longer races use as a pre race snack. I have a very sensitive stomach, but have found that GU products work well as my pre-race fuel.  Energy gels give my body the energy it needs, but don't make me feel weighed down by a higher volume snack.  

After a run it’s important to properly refuel your body. Your body’s cells will be primed to restock glycogen stores (the molecule that is broken down to provide your cells with energy when you run) during the first 30 mins after your run.  By refueling at this time, you’ll ensure that future workouts are successful.  What should you eat after a run? Nutritionists have actually found that low fat chocolate milk offers the best combination of carbohydrates and protein so keep some on hand!

Tip 4: Remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!



Staying hydrated is always important, but will be especially so for the Flashback 5K/10K race since its location makes it likely to be warmer than others this time of year.  You won’t be able to make up for forgetting to drink water while you’re racing. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you drink water throughout the day before your run and to leave a water bottle by your bedside table in case you feel thirsty at night.  To figure out if you are properly hydrated you can try two tricks. First, make sure you consume at least half of your body weight in ounces of water before the big day (if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 oz of water) When you go number one, aim for a “clear and copious” result!

Tip 5: Last minute details: 

If you know the course route ahead of time and live close to the race, you may want to drive the loop or run it once or twice in the days leading up to the event.  This isn’t so you won’t get lost (there are usually plenty of volunteers on hand to point you in the right direction).  Rather, this step can help you visualize your race. You can anticipate hills, a location for your cheerleaders to stand, and identify water stops.  

When you enter the final week of race day, you’ll also want to taper off your mileage. The week before your race shouldn’t include interval training (your race will be your hard workout) and ideally won’t include a workout the day before the race.  These steps will leave your legs feeling fresh and ready to go on race day.  

Last, but not least, make sure you have fun! The Flashback 5K/10K event is March 22nd at 7:30 AM in Galveston, TX and invites participants to dress up in  leg warmers, track suits, Farrah wings or tie dye, and  jam out to tunes from the 60s all the way to Pop2K.  It’s sure to be a hit! To register, click HERE>>  The expo will be held the day before in League City, TX.  To learn more about the expo click HERE>>

In addition to the expo and road race this event includes the following giveaway offer:

Grand Prize – 1 Winner Astros 4 tickets value $65.00 per ticket Mariners game, Sunday, May 4th Value - $260.00 4 All day passes to the Downtown Aquarium (Value $67.00) 2 $10 Gift Cards to Landry's Restaurants (Value $20.00) 2 $15.00 Discounted entries to the 10K run (Value $30.00) Total value Grand Prize Pack - $377.00

Second Place Prize Pack - 1 Winner 4 All Day Passes to the Downtown Aquarium (Value $67.00) 2 $10.00 GC to Landry’s Restaurants (Value $20.00) $25.00 Gift Card to Toys R Us ($25.00) 2 $15.00 Discounted entries to the Flashback 5K run ($30.00) Total value Second Place Prize Pack - $142.00 Third Prize Pack- 1 winner 4 All Day Passes to the Downtown Aquarium (Value $67.00) 2 $10.00 GC to Landry’s Restaurants (Value $20.00) 2 $15.00 Discounted entries to the Flashback 5K run (Value $30.00) Total Value Third Prize Pack $117.00 Fourth Prize Pack - 1 winner 2 VIP Tickets to the Flashback Fitness Expo (Value $50.00) 2 Passes to the Aquarium (Value $34.00) 1 $25.00 Gift Card to Toys R Us (Value $25.00) 1 $10 Gift Card to Mario’s Total Value Fourth Prize Pack $119.00 Fifth Prize Pack - 1 Winner 2 VIP Tickets to the Flashback Fitness Expo (Value $50.00) 2 $10 Gift Cards to Landry's Restaurants (Value $20.00) 1 $25.00 Gift Card to Toys R Us (Value $25.00) Total Value Fifth Prize Pack $95.00 Giveaway begins March 3 and ends March 14.



Have you run a road race? Share your experiences and any additional tips for the Flashback 5K/10K runners!  Haven’t started a running routine yet? I’d love to get you started! Leave some of your big questions with a comment below:





This post is part of a campaign with New Creative Media http://newcreativemedia.com.