7 Tips to Prepare for Your 5K Race
by Andrea Riggs, Celebrity Trainer & Fitness Author
The 5 K is a fun and quick race distance that will allow you to challenge your fitness and still have time to recover and enjoy your day! The following tips will prepare you
for Saturday’s upcoming race day experience:
1. Pre-Race Meal
The meal you consume the night before the race is critical. It is important to eat foods that digest easily and will provide the energy to sustain you through the race. Choose a meal, such as spaghetti with meat sauce, with at least 80 percent of the calories from carbohydrates. Also, keep your protein and your fat and fiber consumption low.
The night before the race get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. You will be more relaxed and ready to run if you’ve had adequate rest the night and it will make a big difference in your recovery. The hormones released during deeper stages of sleep plays a role in your aerobic performance and muscle repair.
3. Eat Breakfast
The morning of the race wake up about 1.5 – 2.0 hours before the race and eat breakfast. Low acidic Fruits, complex carbohydrates, whole grains and cereals are great. I like McDonald’s Fruit & Maple oatmeal because it’s 100% whole grain oats and easy to digest.
Two to three hours before the start, drink 16 oz. of water to hydrate your body and give your body time to process extra fluid. Also, take a bottle of water along with you to the race keep sipping until right before the gun goes off.
Before the race begins, warm up your body by doing stretches from head to toe. Stretch everything from your neck to your hamstrings. It will pay off in the end and help you avoid injuries and ease soreness in your lower body.
6. Pace Yourself
When the race begins, pace yourself for the first half mile. The goal is to gradually increase your speed during the race. Save an energy burst for the last half mile of the race and give it all you’ve got. It will be more fun and rewarding to finish strong.
7. Jump-Start Your Program
Your 5K completion can jump-start your fitness program, so use the momentum of the race to begin your weekly program for better health. For best results, plan to perform 1-2 more cardio sessions this week equal to your race day time, add two strength training sessions for muscle tone and a light stretch and recovery day.