Have you ever signed up for a race and then all of a sudden before you know it the race is next weekend?! I have! With a race around the corner, feeling like you aren’t prepared is no fun. Today I am sharing five tips with you that will help you get ready for are day, last minute.
There are lots of reasons last minute training can happen. Maybe life got in the way weren’t able to following your training plan or you missed a lot of long runs because something always came up. Whatever it is, race day is almost here, so what do you do?!
Believe me when I say I can relate. I have run lots of races well trained. I’ve got the long runs in, followed my training plan exactly and I feel ready to run. However, I have also run races without a lot of training. Obviously that is not ideal, but it’s either that or sit the race out.
This weekend I am running Blooms to Brews, which I am really excited for, but race day definitely snuck up on me. The nasty weather hasn’t helped me get out for runs either, so I am under prepared for this race. So let me share the 5 things I’m doing to be as ready as I can.
1) Don’t overwork yourself the week before
You can’t end load your run training in the last few weeks. Unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way, so don’t go out and run tons of miles or super fast runs the last week before the race. That won’t do you any favors you can’t change your conditioning much the week before the event. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out for a few jogs the week before, just don’t do anything strenuous.
Stay consistent, keep your legs limber and get a few short runs in so you maintain the condition you do have till race day.
2) Avoid crazy carb loading
It’s okay to increase your carb a bit the days leading up to the race to be sure your muscles have enough glycogen for the long distance, but there is no need to eat crazy amounts of carbs. Eating a dozen donuts the day before the race, or slamming down a HUGE plate of pasta the night before won’t make you run any faster. The only thing it could do is make you feel sick, which won’t make the race any more successful. You can add in some extra carbs, but again, nothing drastic.
3) Be OK with taking walk breaks
It’s OKAY to take walk breaks during a race. I recommend taking them before you think you need it to avoid getting too tired. Slow down, enjoy the race environment, take a few selfies, then start running again. You can do this at every aid station or every mile. You choose when to take them, but don’t be afraid to take them. Since you are undertrained, the goal is to finish the race, not PR.
Be on top of you liquid intake on the days leading up to the race so that you are hydrated on race day. Don’t underestimate hydration.
5) Get good sleep
Sleep is one of your best allies. That’s when your body and muscles recover. Get adequate rest, especially the week before race day, and you muscles and body will be rested and ready to go.
Don’t do anything drastic the last week before the event. It won’t do anything but stress your body and make race day unpleasant. Unfortunately you can’t last minute train the week before a race. If you have a month or more, there are more options for training and mileage. Don’t worry about performance, just get across the finish. Enjoy the race, take walk breaks and soak up the experience.