It’s been a while since I’ve had a race – January 22, to be exact. With the Achilles Injury of 2011 hopefully far behind me, I’m gearing up for the Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park tomorrow morning.
Over the years I’ve developed a pretty solid pre-race day routine, but I’m feelin’ a little rusty after so many months off, so I thought I’d outline my plan.
I usually like to think about the course the race is on, and I’m pretty familiar with this one – a whole lotta hills, followed by a whole lotta hills. Since all of my training runs involve Central Park and a decent amount of these hills, I feel like I’m as ready for them as I can be (but that definitely doesn’t mean I like them!).
My hill mantra: “Solid effort on the uphill (slightly shortened stride and pump the arms!) and a controlled cruise on the downhill”
Here’s how I envision my pre-race day to go today.
Early morning cross training – 30 minutes on the spin bike, 30 minutes elliptical, core work, lifting and stretching. I don’t like taking full rest days before races because I think it makes my legs a bit sluggish. Some easy cross training or a short run to get the blood pumping works better for me.
Breakfast – sprouted grain cinnamon raisin toast with natural crunchy peanut butter and berries
Lunch – Greek yogurt, strawberries, pineapple, walnuts and a little peanut butter over a spoonful of oats
Snack – apple
Dinner – black bean, corn and avocado salad with a whole wheat tortilla and slice of jack cheese
I added broccoli, grilled chicken, mango and spinach to my original recipe
Snack – Greek yogurt, dark chocolate dreams peanut butter and some peanut butter puffins (unpictured)
I also make sure to hydrate throughout the day. I don’t think it’s necessary to “carbo load” before a 10K race (or anything shorter than a marathon, really), and I usually don’t make any changes to what I normally eat to ward off any possible tummy troubles.
I like to chill out the night before a race, so I’ll probably study for my last final exam (which is on Monday), watch a little TV and hit the sack early. Before I hit the hay, I like to lay out what I’m planning on wearing so getting ready the next morning is a bit easier and I don’t need to rush to find anything.
10Ks are definitely not my favorite distance, and I’m going to make sure to incorporate some visualization into my pre-race day routine. I want to picture myself feeling strong and confident throughout the race, conquering the tough hills and finishing feeling like I did my best. Running is so mental, I truly think a little visualization to psyche myself up for a race and help keep my confidence up is key.
Recap to come!
Question: What’s your pre-race day routine?