Race Day Prep

Posted on September 23, 2019

If you’re running in the Fall Festival 5k or 10k this weekend, or competing in a future race, we’d like to give you some tips on how to optimize your performance on race day!

Tapering

  • It’s important to build your base and peak training to your race distance about 2 weeks prior to your race. The NSCA then recommends tapering for 7-16 days before your race.1
  • Exercise intensity at proper duration is the key to an effective taper
  • Your workouts should be much less in duration compared to your more recent high volume weeks, but maintaining a high level of intensity.

Hydration

  • It’s important to plan your hydration leading up to your race.
  • Daily Intake Recommendation:
    • Males: 13 cups or 104 ounces daily
    • Females: 9 cups or 72 ounces daily
    • You would want to drink at least that, if not more the days leading up to your race

Race Day

  • If you know your body and have a good pre race routine, stick with it when it comes to hydration and calorie intake
  • In general, 2-3 hours before race: drink 17-20 ounces water/sport drink
    • 10-20 minutes pre run: 7-10 ounces water/sport drink is a good guideline

Dynamic warm-up

    • Prior to any exercise a dynamic warm up is preferred over static stretching
    • Dynamic warm-ups involve quick stretching with activities such as high knees, butt kicks, carioca, and hip swings. 
    • Newer research no longer shows that dynamic stretching is necessarily better than static stretching that is <60 seconds in duration2-3, but we still prefer dynamic

During Race

  • Attempt to intake about 10 ounces of water/sport drink per 10-20 minutes
  • If race is >45 minutes, make sure to have some carbohydrate supplement (i.e., sport drink, “Goo”, honey stick)
    • With a shorter race like this 5k and 10k, this tip may not apply as much, but is a good rule of thumb for longer races

Post Race

  • Drink up! Replenish!
  • Goal is to drink back any weight you lost
    • If you lost 5 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of fluid within next 2-4 hours

Static stretching

    • Static stretching is very important after your race. I know you’re tired, but make sure to stretch with 30-60 second holds after the race to avoid muscles tightening after.
    • Make sure to get those hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, calves, and mid back stretched out!

We hope these tips help you get the most out of your race day! Happy running!

 – Dr. Peter McMillan, PT, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy

 – Dr. Dane Happeny, PT, DPT, OCS, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

References

  1. Hoffman J. NSCA’s Guide To Program Design. Champaigne, IL: Human Kinetics; 2012. Comments are closed.
  2. Behm, DG, Blazevich AJ, Kay AD, McHugh M. Acute effects of muscle stretching on physical performance, range of motion, and injury incidence in healthy active individuals: a systematic review. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016;41:1-11.
  3. Kay AD, Blazevich AJ. Effect of acute static stretch on muscle performance: a systematic review. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012; 44(1): 154-164.

Comments are closed.