Signing up for a race is an accomplishment in its own so congratulations on getting started with running! No matter if you are running your first 5K or crushing your next 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon preparing for your race is the most important. Below I've included my top 5 tips for preparing and cross-training for your next race accomplishment.
Add Strength Training:
While running is the main focus of any training program, runners also need to incorporate strength training and flexibility into their regular routine. The strength training gives your body the strength, stability, endurance, and power to keep going even when the body wants to quit. I would suggest adding at least 1 day of strength training to your weekly training program to help build your core and strength to crush your next race.
Never underestimate the power of rest. Rest is one of the most important factors to training and staying healthy and injury-free. Now I'm not saying skip workouts or just decide not workout because you don't feel like running, but instead build in rest days into your training program. During these rest days I would highly suggest incorporating some type of stretching, foam rolling, or yoga. These are great ways to continue to keep your body in top shape for your race while allowing it to recover through stretching and mobility exercises.
Time to get serious, hydration is the number 1 key to successfully crushing your next race. Once your body becomes dehydrated you mentally and physically lose focus and your performance starts to go downhill. To stay hydrated I always suggest that runners drink before, during, and after all runs and races. Some great hydrating drinks include Nuun Hydration, Herbalife24 Hydrate or Drive C7, and Gatorade. I would also highly encourage runners to stick to what they know and train with the same hydrating method they would use during the race, this will only help keep your performance on track while racing.
Stick to the Training Program:
Every runner has heard it from their coach, stick to the training program and you'll crush your race. As a coach myself I can't emphasize this enough, the training program is your key to crushing your next race while staying injury-free. It's through this program that you are able to build up towards race day and ultimately crossing the finish line at the goal time you desired. Once you learn to follow the program and treat each training day is planned you will start to see amazing results while enjoying each day of training.
Warmup Before the Race:
Warming up prior to a race is just as important as your training program. It's through this warmup that you are able to loosen up your muscles and mentally prepare for the race. I would highly encourage that runners do a 10-minute shakeout run at a super slow pace to help get the blood flowing in your body while doing some light stretches. Some great stretches include lunges, butt-kicks, calf rises, and high knees.
Hopefully these tips that I've provided will help you prepare and execute your for your next race. These few tips are only the top of the iceberg in running but are some of the most important tips for running your best race while staying injury-free. For more information about myself please check out the rest of my website to learn how I use individual training programs, community runs, and more to train individuals to fall in love with running and crush their goals.