In April I ran my first ever race! It was Nike Women Half Marathon in DC. Leading up to the race was one hell of a roller coaster ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I do wish I was a little better at prepping during race week. I did not understand how crucial those last days leading up to the race were. And with that, I learned some pretty hard lessons that week…
Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do The Week Before a Race:
- Doing your longest run during the same week of your race
- Drinking alcoholic beverages ( the key is to stay hydrated, and alcohol is not only a suppressant, but it also causes dehydration)
- Poor dieting (your body needs nutrients and carbs to help sustain you through the run, and protein to help repair all the muscle tissue before, during, and after)
- Not drinking at least 10 or more glasses of water a day
- Trying something new (Like a new fitness regimen, activity, or diet)
- Not preparing your race gear (worse thing to realize when you’re at the starting line is that you forgot your iPod, or hair tie, or even your fuel packs!)
- Not getting an adequate amount of sleep during the week(or worse less than 4hrs the night before the race like me. Warning: Race jitters may keep you up all night)
- Wearing new running shoes that you have not done a proper test on as yet
- Not training adequately months before the race (could be weeks, depending on the length of your race)
- Not having faith in all the training and work you’ve put in!
I know these things are rather obvious to some, and I have read countless health and fitness articles leading up to my race, but I didn’t truly realize the importance of these tips until I went through it myself. Now that I know better, I feel a lot more confident going into my next race, and can’t wait to set a new personal record.
Luckily, thanks to the months of prepping, I was not only able to finish, but surpass my personal record. Although I did way better on this race than I anticipated, I will say that I could have done even better had I followed all those rules. I could avoid the cramps that came on earlier than I expected because the lack of hydration, exhaustion from lack of sleep, and technical difficulties with some of my music apps. All of those factors can affect your time and make you lose concentration. This is something I’ll take into serious consideration as I begin training again and getting ready for Race Season in Fall.
Hope that Helps,