“Race day is your grand finale, its the big show. Everything that you do before that; all your long runs, all your key workouts, its a dress rehearsal. You know, that’s where you want to work out the kinks.”
This quote from Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor of Competitor Magazine, during a webinar where he shares training tips about running in the heat, nutrition strategies, staying hydrated, and more. The webinar is available for viewing online but here is the runner’s digest version!
Matching Training to Experience
The Key to Training: CONSISTENCY. Whether you are a beginning, intermediate, or experienced runner; finding the optimal level of training for yourself and being consistent is key.
There is no science to figure out what works for you, at the end of the day it’s all trial and error. Mario’s recommendation: Don’t surprise your body on race day. Experiment during your training and don’t do anything new on race day that you haven’t tried during your training.
Nutrition can vary based on how long you are in the field but hydration is something that should start 3 to 4 days prior to race day. During the race you should drink something about every 20 minutes. It’s also better to drink about 4oz at a time 5 times throughout the race rather than drinking a massive amount all at once.
After the Race
Within a half hour to an hour of ending your race you should start the refueling process; drink lots of fluids and start replenishing your carbs and proteins. Approximately two to two and a half hours after a race: big meal time! Mario’s post race meal of choice – burger and fries!
The Importance of Recovery
On a day to day training recovery basis the same nutrition rules apply and you should be off your feet as much as you can. An anecdote Mario quotes is, “Don’t stand if you can sit, don’t sit if you can lay down.” Post race you should take a few weeks off or at least take it easy, give your body a break and time to rest up.
Injury Prevention Strategies
- Get Stronger! The stronger you are the quicker you can progress your training, the better athlete you will be and prevent injury.
- Add Variety – Runners are creatures of habit but doing a variety of workouts, on different surfaces, at different speeds will help you become a more well rounded runner and athlete.
Warm Weather Tactics
- Adjust Your Expectations – Heat and humidity will have an effect on your running if you haven’t been training in those weather conditions. To keep running strong during your race, the warmer it gets, dial back your pace 30-45 seconds slower or you will wear yourself out quicker.
- Avoid the Middle of the Day – On race day this will take care of itself. During training to get the most out of your workout and impose the least amount of risk, its best to go when the temperatures aren’t as high.
- Drink But be Weary – You will want to drink frequently but be weary of not drinking just water. Keep your sodium levels in check along with important electrolytes.
- Cover Yourself Up – Cover every inch of your body in some way to protect yourself whether by clothes, sunscreen, or a hat.
- Keep Your Cool – During the race not only should you get water in you, but getting it on you will help you stay cool.
Want to hear the whole webinar? See the video below: