Race Strategies for upcoming Main Street 5k/10k
1. What you should have done and still can do: Have fun and above all, think of the rewards to come. Question your race strategy and where you would like to place ultimately and realistically. Do you know the course and competition? Have you been feeding yourself nutritional foods and caring for yourself.
2. Friday’s day before: This should be a time to loosen up, as an easy run or active rest. Usual run should be under 3 miles or half of the race distance. Do one set of striders and stretch for up to 20 minutes. Review the schedule of race day and fun events to follow.
3. After evening run: Eat a good and easily digestible meal. Don’t eat strange foods that you have never tried, and stay away from heavy meats. Do not stuff yourself. Drink fluids like juices and water. Be careful about excessive amounts of soda.
4. After dinner: Stay relaxed and calm. You don’t want to wake up and be rushed for time. You’ll feel great if you plan correctly, so set aside your running shoes, extra shirts, water bottle, walkman, towel, baby wipes, book or magazine. Question the weather and do you need to set aside a lunch.
5. Time to relax: Do something you enjoy as going to an early movie, listen to music, read or watch t.v. Don’t go dancing and easy on the junk food if you go out. Try to be in bed the same time you would attempt on a most days. Your system is accustomed to that much sleep.
6. Race Day – early morning. Get in plenty of time to eat a light breakfast at least 2 hours before the race. You may need to adjust that time per individual. Again, no strange foods and stay plain. You don’t want to rush, so give yourself time to walk around and loosen up.
7. On the course: Try to be there one hour earlier, to set aside bathroom time, checking for announcements or time changes, a bit of social and personal needs. Walk-jog some of the course to better visualize the race. Go over stress points: Hills, sharp turns, footing and consider weather conditions.
8. On the line: Don’t be intimidated by anyone, but encourage each other. Give your sweats to a reliable person or remove those 15 minutes before the event. Do different degrees of striders and stay loose. Stretch a minimal of 10 minutes. Calm yourself; you’ll do fine.
9. Gun sounds: First ½ mile will be up to 1 minute faster than anticipated. Don’t worry, the pace will level off. Watch for unintentional elbows as you are all tightly packed, but be assertive and keep an eye on your footing. Don’t be afraid of the 1st mile, everyone’s faster out of the blocks. After the 1st mile look to run with someone, but don’t let the race run you, you run your race. Some runners may surge in a race with attempts to test an opponent’s ability, whereby they have concerns of competing with you. You may fare well by softening their attempts of surging. Briefly acknowledging their move with non verbal cues or puffing bellows of air. Congratulate yourself during the race and give yourself a little pep talk to press o. Count the many runners you may have passed and make a game of it. Make sure you strategically use the water stop to your advantage, but limit your consumption not to get cramps.
10. The reward: Congratulations!
11. After the race: Grab some water and an electrolyte replacement drink to prevent cramping. Find both top and bottom sweats, then job a light cool down to assess the conditions of your legs. Also, try to get a nice hot shower when you’re through if possible.
12. Take advantage of the festivities and prizes to appreciate the full reward of the day.