Race Event Prep
‘Tis the season for races, walks, triathlons, and cycling events…but before hitting the pavement, arm yourself with some of these great tips and suggestions to help ensure that event day goes as smoothly and safely as possible.
For starters, make sure you know your limits. While it is fine to push yourself, you don’t want to over do it and end up injured, disappointed in yourself, and/or unable to finish the event. Practice, practice, practice…don’t wait until race day to find out if you are able to finish a half marathon or not. Ensure your success by gradually advancing your training over the course of the months, weeks, and days leading up to the big event.
Day before the big event – While many people think that they will feel more refreshed for their big event if they skip their training session on the day before the event, although experts say getting in a light training session the day before the even can help ensure that the muscles stay loosened and don’t tighten up. Having tight muscles on event day can lead to a variety of muscular injuries, including sprains, strains, and tears.
Experts from running.com say to plan on dressing for weather that is an average of 15 degrees warmer than it actually is, since that is about how much your body will heat up during the event. You should also wear nonrestrictive and comfortable clothing, as well as good footwear with proper support. A favorite among seasoned and professional runners, using a product like the Skin Sake Athletic Ointment will help protect your skin from the irritating chaffing that can result from the skin rubbing against itself, your clothing, or objects like a bike seat.
Day of the big event – Considering skipping breakfast because you think you’ll feel lighter on your feet and be less likely to get stomach cramps? Guess again! Experts reiterate the importance of eating a good breakfast on event day…and they recommend eating the same things that you would normally eat for breakfast before your training sessions. If your normal breakfast is light enough to not cause stomach cramps during your training and provides enough fuel to get you through your training sessions, then why change your breakfast routine on event day?
During the event – Don’t feel intimidated by the other participants. Work at a pace that feels comfortable and works for you. Picking up your pace to try to keep up with the other participants is likely to wear you out sooner and could even prevent you from being able to finish the event. Also, don’t be ashamed if you aren’t able to finish the event, be proud of what you were able to accomplish and then stick with your training and set new (and practical) goals and work towards them.
Staying hydrated during the event is also essential, which is why many events will have strategically placed water stations positioned along the event course. When you see a water station you should use it, and don’t forget to thank the volunteers who are handing off the water and cheering you on. Try to find out ahead of time if the event will be providing water stations or if you should plan on bringing your own water for during the event.
After the event – Didn’t achieve your race-time goal? Don’t worry about it. Just keep on training and your time will improve. Just about as important as warming up the muscles before the event, once the event is finished you should take a few minutes to do some cool down exercises. Following the completion of the event it is also important to refuel the body. Consuming protein and electrolytes will help replenish the nutrients that were used during the event.
Here at Mountainside Medical Equipment we carry a variety of products that can be used for event training and ensuring a successful finish. We offer a comprehensive line of exercise and fitness products, as well as vitamins and supplements, pedometers to help you track the distance you’ve gone, monitors to keep track of your pulse and heart rate, and we even sell reusable water bottles to help keep you hydrated.