Last week at work we were talking about my race on Saturday, the Costal Georgia Susan G. Komen 5K (my fundraising badge is on the right side of the blog) and the subject came up about how I prepare for a race. I happily blabbered about how I change my workouts, training, and eats.
First, I have to confess I purposely held off one week of P90X so I could have the “recovery phase” the week of my race. Even before I started P90X I always went the week of a race without strength training and only focused on stretching, i.e yoga or intense stretching. I don’t want to burn my thighs or calves. I want to make them limber as possible to prevent injuries. Its something that works for me and I can honestly say it helps, unless you’re recovering from an injury. Then just rest as much as possible. Plus I foam roll everyday. Thats pretty extreme to some, but I prefer to get all possible knots out and really loosen up my IT Band.
Second, I lay low on my training. Generally I run 2-3 miles on two days during the week, mostly Monday (my off day) and Wednesday. If I feel the need to “test out” my race distance I will do that on Monday. I ran a 5K last Thursday morning to my new playlist to “test out” how things would go. Also, if I am planning on wearing something new to the race, I run in it at least twice before. Like the outfit I planned on months ago, I ran in last week on Monday and it was horrible. The shirt kept creeping up my stomach and the shoulders were tight. I can’t focus on my run or race when pulling down my shirt constantly. So I purchased something new that is festive for the race and practical. You can never go wrong with a neon pink sports bra and white singlet.
Third, my eats. I change my diet the week of and never prior. I find that eating “clean” or as much as possible really helps me. It gets my digestive system normal and on schedule, yes gross I know. But if you’re a runner you understand the importance of that sentence. I cut out all carbonation and only drink water, flavored with Pure Crystal Light. I tend to eat protein in the source of chicken very early in the week. Breakfast the whole week is cereal or oatmeal, both with coconut or almond milk. Sunday and Tuesday’s dinner are chicken dishes. Monday’s dinner is lentil soup, carried over to Tuesday’s lunch. Wednesday’s lunch is rice and beans and dinner is black bean burger. Thursday’s lunch is pasta, dinner is noodles and miso soup. Friday I eat pasta for lunch and dinner,generally cheese tortellini with peppers in Italian dressing. I like to get many carbs and calories in the night before since I will hardly eat in the morning. Race morning is simple toast with peanut butter and a bottle of water.
I try to get plenty of rest also, even though excitement tends to make sleep stay away. I’ve figured out what works for me, like I never eat something new the day prior to race day just because you don’t know how your stomach will react. I’ve read horror stories about eating a new dish the night before.
What are the things you do before a race? Do you change your eating habits or workout schedule?
I’ll have another post about my new race playlist, the course, and my race outfit this week.