Over the next couple days, we’re going to dedicate a few posts to our Gnarly runners –we know there are a lot of you out there. We’ll talk about some things to do and a bunch of things not to do the week before running a big race. If you’re not a runner or you are thinking about training for a race, keep reading –you’ll definitely learn a few things.
Sticking to the Training
So, you’ve put in the early morning runs, the long weekend runs, speed work at the track that made your lungs catch on fire, and those late night gotta-get-it-in runs. You’ve dedicated yourself to sticking to your training and really putting in the effort to do well at your next big 10k, half marathon, or marathon. Now your race is just a week or two away. What now? What are some best practices to follow during this crucial time frame? Well, of course you need to keep eating right. A recovery protein taken after a long workout, like Gnarly Whey or Gnarly Feast, can greatly improve how your body repairs itself and bounces back. Hopefully you’ve been doing this during your whole training cycle. Training wise, however, nothing you do the week before a big race can improve your time. And there are plenty of training mistakes you can make the week or days before to ruin all that hard work. What follows are a few pointers I’ve garnered from years in the racing trenches. So listen up troops, the general’s got a few things to say.
First tip, REST. I know it’s hard to do. Even counter intuitive, right? You spend all this time training your body to forget about certain little pains, to “run through” the discomfort, to try and be consistent even when every muscle of your running body tells you it wants just one more day off and a Whopper. Well, let’s listen to that voice this week (the non-Whopper craving part, anyway). Hopefully you’ve been listening to it for a week prior as well. I always start my taper two weeks before an event because of one plain fact: It works. Your last long run should have been AT LEAST a week to 10 days before your event (I always give myself 10-14 days) and it should be about a minute slower than your goal pace. During the week before the race remember to keep your runs light. Now, don’t just not run for five days, but you do want to feel fresh and a little pent up on race day morning. The best way to do that is to rest and always do less than you feel like you could; it’ll pay off race day morning when you feel like you’re going to explode and your legs are begging to show you what they can do.
Rest also means sleep -make sure you’re getting enough of that too. At least 7 to 8 hours every night.Study after study has shown how important rest is in not only clearing any mental fatigue you may be suffering from, but in the specific ways your body recovers and rebuilds itself during those precious shut-eye hours.
In the next installment, I’ll touch on what little things you want to pay attention to that can really trip you up come race day. Stay tuned and stay gnarly!