Are poor pre-race habits slowing you down? If you're signed up to conquer the course at the Broad Street Run this weekend, go the distance by avoiding these top three rookie runner mistakes.
Dynamic v. Static Stretching. Figuring out the best warm up technique can be baffling. Luckily, there's an easy explanation for why dynamic stretching should be your go-to choice.
Dynamic stretches take muscles through a range of motion that is similar to the exercise you will be performing, whereas static stretching elongates the muscles while the body is at rest. Static stretching is best used post-exercise, when your muscles are already warmed up. Practicing dynamic stretches is the safest way to warm up muscle temperature and prepare your muscles for exercise. Try these dynamic stretches before the race.
Food Coma. Extreme carb loading prior to the big race can have you feeling like all guts and no glory. During exercise, blood is redirected from our organs to the muscles, which affects digestion. Some unpleasant side effects include bloating, cramping, side stitches and the king of all race killers, diarrhea. Focus on foods that are high in carbs and low in fat and fiber. Avoid gastrointestinal stress by following this smart snacking schedule:
Choose one of the following meals to munch on one hour before the race:
➢ Banana + nut butter
➢ Plain bagel + nut butter, jam or honey
➢ Oatmeal (no artificial sweeteners or flavors) + fresh fruit
➢ 16 oz. sports drink
Following the race, refuel with a protein and carbohydrate dense meal to replenish muscle fibers and restore depleted energy.
Test the Waters. Hydration is key in successfully completing your 10-mile course. Knowing exactly how much to chug can be confusing. And believe it or not, it is possible to over-hydrate. This dangerous condition is known as hyponatremia. Drinking too much water, especially when bathroom breaks are ignored until after the race, dilutes the sodium levels (electrolytes) in our blood.
Avoid over- or under-hydration by drinking half your bodyweight in ounces each day (i.e., 200 lbs =100 ounces).
Sip schedule and guidelines:
➢ Have a drink at aid stations along the race route
➢ Incorporate salty snacks
➢ Ditch your drink if your stomach feels full or you can feel fluids sloshing around
➢ Mix electrolyte powders/drinks into your hydration plan
Another easy rule of thumb to follow: drink if you're thirsty, refrain if you're not.
Don't let this year's race run you down.