6 Steps to Run Faster on Race Day
The Warm Up is the often overlooked puzzle piece in runners journey towards a new PR. On race day you need to make sure your mind and body are ready before the race starts. Here’s six steps to boost your performance and keep you safe.
Time your Breakfast
The ideal time to eat your pre-race meal is around four hours before the race. This is enough time for your food to digest and store energy, but late enough to make sure that energy is still available at race time. This can be difficult, because most races start early in the morning. If you’re not a early riser that’s ok. Eating at least 2 hours before the race is ok, you’ll just have to scale back the amount.
You may be tempted to chug a bunch of water pre-race to ensure hydration. Not only will this leave you feeling bloated, but will also dilute your electrolytes. Diluted electrolyte levels can cause a multiple negative side effects like: muscle weakness or cramping and, in extreme cases, can lead to hyponatremia, a life-threatening condition triggered by abnormally low sodium levels. Make sure to maintain normal hydration on the days leading up to the race. Drink 16 ounces of water two to three hours before the start, this will give your body time to process the extra fluid.
You’ve heard of using ointments or lotions for recovery, but what about performance? Lotions like Topical Edge Performance & Recovery Lotion deliver sodium bicarbonate directly to the muscles through your skin, promising to help you go harder, faster.
It’s hard to find a recommended warm up these days without finding dynamic stretching. A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are "dynamic," meaning you are moving as you stretch. It activates muscles you will use during your workout, improves range of motion, and improves body awareness. Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power. Find a dynamic stretching routine that works for you and perform it 20 to 30 minutes before the race.
Jog Don’t Sprint
Many people sprint before a race, but we don’t recommend it. Start off walking and gradually work your way up to a pace just above a jog. Don’t over exert yourself before the race even begins.
Visualize and GO
Ok, by now you should be feeling like you’re ready to go out and run your fast race ever. Make your way to the starting line and take a moment to visualize what you are about to do. See yourself running each mile as you intend, feeling strong and fast. Think about your strategy and your goal time. See yourself running with your best form. Remember your training and preparation. Take a deep breath and wait for the starting gun.