Race Day of Your Tri! May 23, 2013
- Organize your equipment so that you have a bag ready for each transition as well as a special needs bag (containing snacks, drinks, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.). Transition area space is limited, so bring only what you need.
- Label your bike, helmet, water bottle, etc. so you don’t accidentally swap gear with someone else.
- Practice your transitions to ensure efficiency.
- Make sure your bike is tuned and is functioning properly: check tire pressure, brakes, etc.
- Give yourself lots of time to adjust to any clothing/equipment you plan to use on the big day.
- Avoiding any new foods, incorporate plenty of carbohydrates into your pre-race meal. Start fueling (carbo-loading) for the race about 24 hours beforehand for a sprint and more for longer races.
- Make sure you get lots of restful sleep on the eve of the big day.
- Eat a carb-rich meal at least 2 hours before the race, allowing yourself time to digest.
- Check the weather conditions and dress in layers for easy adding/shedding of clothes. Even if it is warm, you may want a sweatshirt or jacket for after the race.
- Arrive at the event at least an hour early to find a parking spot, pick up your race packet, familiarize yourself with race rules/procedures, use the facilities, and warm up.
- Set up your gear in the transition area. If you can choose your own spot, look for one at the end of a row for a quick exit.
- Memorize where you’ve placed your equipment in the transition area and consider marking your spot for visibility.
- Fill all your bike’s bottle holders with water/sports drinks.
- Make sure you leave your bike in a low gear so you can ease into the biking portion of the race.
- Once set up, mentally rehearse your transitions again.
- Try to take a dip in the water before to adjust to the water’s temperature before the race.
- Know the course! It’s especially useful to familiarize yourself with the swimming and biking routes. Don’t rely on the crowd to keep you on the right track.
- Warm up with a quick swim 10-20 minutes before the race.
- Position yourself according to your ability. If you know you’re particularly fast or slow in the water, move closer to the front or back of the pack. Otherwise, the middle is the best place to start out.
- Keep yourself fueled/hydrated. Especially for long distances, energy drinks are better than water for replenishing carbohydrates and electrolytes.
- Thank the race volunteers, wave to the crowds, and smile for the cameras!
- Stay hydrated, making sure you replenishing carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during the race.
- Keep walking to avoid cramping.
- Refuel with a protein-rich snack within a half hour of finishing.
- Remember to gather all your gear from the transition area.
Race Day of Your 5k! May 15, 2013
You’ve been training for weeks, and the big day is finally here! Some tips on preparing for your first 5k race:
1. Skip the Chile
Avoid eating spicy foods the night before & morning of your race. They will likely come back to haunt you the next day.
2. Catch Enough Z’s
Try to hit the hay early and get plenty of sleep on the night before the race to maximize your energy on the big day.
3. Eat Breakfast
It really is the most important meal of the day, especially before your race. Make time to eat a healthy, high glycemic index meal before the event, such as bread with honey or jam. Consuming a small, carb-rich snack less than an hour before the race may also improve your performance.
4. Be an Early Bird
On race day, arrive early enough to find a parking spot, pick up your race packet, visit the port-a-potties, look around, and/or familiarize yourself with the course and race procedures.
5. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)
Although most races provide water or sports drinks, it’s a good idea to bring your own bottle to make sure you stay hydrated before and after the race.
6. Dress for the Weather
If it’s cooler, bring a sweatshirt or jacket to change into after the race. The clothes you run in are likely to get wet when you sweat, which can make you chilly after the event. If it’s raining, try to wear tight-fitting clothes to prevent chaffing. Clothes made of wicking material and tight-fitting, synthetic socks are best for preventing blisters.
7. Stick to the Familiar
Avoid breaking in new clothes, shoes, or gear on the day of the race. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get comfortable with any clothing or equipment you intend to use on the big day.
8. Be the Middleman
Before the race starts, position yourself in the middle of the pack; this way, the fastest runners don’t have to weave around you, and you’re not stuck behind the walkers in the back.
9. Start Slow, Finish Strong
A common beginner mistake is to start the race too fast. Your heart is pumping, you’re anxious, and people are flying by you. Try to let them pass you early on to ease gradually into your race pace. If you’re goal is simply to finish the race, use the whole first mile as your warm-up, and think of the last two miles as the competition. However, if you’re aiming for a good finish time, you should warm up before the race. You can achieve this with a 5-8 min easy jog. If you’re really going for speed, 5-6 short sprint repeats will wake up your fast twitch muscle fibers and kick you into high gear.
10. Have Fun!
Try not to take the race too seriously. Absorb the sights and sounds of the event, smile at the crowds, and be kind to your fellow runners. It may be a competition, but don’t lose sight of the bigger reasons you’re participating: to be fit and healthy and to enjoy yourself.
Time to Give it a “Tri”! April 26, 2013
Spring is here at last: the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and the triathletes are training!
If you’ve never considered a multi-sport race before, now’s the time to get out and “tri”!
Maybe you’re asking yourself: What is a triathlon, anyway?
A triathlon is a race comprised of three different sports: swimming, cycling and running (performed in that order). Triathlons come in various distances, the shortest being a sprint, or short-distance triathlon. A “sprint tri” usually consists of a 300-meter to ¼-mile swim, 10-15-mile cycle and a 3-mile run. The longer distances, the Olympic, Ironman and half Ironman, are standard distances. The Olympic triathlon includes a 1500-m swim, 40-km cycle and 10-km run. The name and distances are derived from the first triathlon which formed part of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The infamous Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle and 26.2-miles run, and as it sounds, the half Ironman comprises half of each of those distances.
Can I Do This?
So now that you know what’s involved with a triathlon, the question becomes: are you physically and mentally up for one?
If you are in good health, stay fairly active, and give yourself enough time to train, I’m sure you can do it. It wouldn’t hurt to talk to your doctor and tell her that you are thinking about training for a “tri.” Listen carefully and follow any advice she might give you. If you have a chronic medical issue or have been sedentary for at least the last six months, you should definitively discuss any prospective training program with your physician.
Other concerns you might have are that triathlons are too expensive, you don’t have enough time in your schedule to train for three different events, or that it will be hard to learn to swim as an adult. All those concerns are valid, and I will try to clarify each of them for you.
Firstly, it’s true that triathlons can get pricey, but check out the list of equipment below to see what costs are involved. If you already have a bike, a triathlon shouldn’t set you back much more than any other race. As far as time constraints go, I’ve written a training program that will only require four hours a week for only a few weeks before the race. So even the tightest of schedules should have enough room for training.
Lastly, if you don’t know how to swim, signing up for lessons now should give you plenty of time to complete the swim portion of a tri. The good news is that you can swim any style you want in a triathlon: backstroke, breaststroke, doggy paddle, etc. are all in. This isn’t to say I recommend these strokes, but you can still employ any/all of them to get you to the other side!
How to Get Started
Now, let’s concentrate on the sprint distance training. You can start getting ready for the tri right away, but depending on your fitness level, you might want to target different aspects of training, such as learning how to swim or easing into running or biking.
If you are proficient in one or more of the three sports, add high intensity bouts to your training, and work on the transitions from swimming to biking and (more importantly) from biking to running. For exercise beginners, I would recommend that you find a tri in late August or early September to give yourself sufficient time to get used to all three sports.
If you haven’t been physically active for the past six months or longer, it’s important to work on increasing your aerobic fitness level. You can achieve this safely and effectively by engaging in low-intensity aerobic activities for a minimum of 20 minutes a day, starting with four days a week and increasing to six. Walk one day, ride your bike the next, and go to the pool on the third, repeating this sequence for three weeks. After that, increase your time at each sport by five to 10 minutes. Following three more weeks of this kind of training, try adding some running to your walks, if you haven’t already.
If you start this program now, these six weeks of training will take you to mid-June, at which time you can pick up the eight-week training program I will present later. You might want to sign up for a sprint triathlon in September so you have enough time to get yourself in good shape and fully enjoy the race.
If you have been working out consistently for the past six months (three to seven hours of any aerobic exercise), then evaluate your specific level on each of the three sports. Let’s say that you are a decent swimmer and that swimming ¼ of a mile is a piece of cake for you. You also know that you can bike 10-15 miles fairly easily, but you don’t like running so much. In this case, you would focus mostly on your running, while continuing to train on the other two sports using the eight-week sprint triathlon training program.
To train and compete in your first sprint triathlon, you will need:
-A swim suit, swimming cap (yes, you have to wear one during the race, even if you have no hair), and swimming goggles
-A bike and a helmet
-A pair of running shoes (more info on how to choose the right pair for you in this blog entry)
-A medium bag to carry all your equipment to the transition area
The rest of the equipment you hear about (tri suit, wet suit, tri bike, and the like) are the cherries on top. If your goal is to finish a triathlon, then the list above is all you really need. On the other hand, if you want to place in your age group, you’ll definitively want to get specific with the equipment, especially the bike. Either way, my biggest advice is to put most of your money in the shoes. The right pair of running shoes is a must to keep physical injuries at bay.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do I need a tri suit?
A: No. They are cool-looking and can make the bike ride a bit more comfortable than just wearing your swimsuit, but the truth is it’s perfectly acceptable to bike in your swimsuit or simply add shorts and a t-shirt overtop if you prefer to be more covered up. Just make sure that the shirt and shorts will slide on easily after you’re wet (remember that the swim is the first portion of the race).
A: This depends on the temperature of the water. In extreme cases, a wet suit is necessary to cope with frigid water temperatures, but if you stay local, you most certainly won’t need one, especially if you sign up for a late summer race. Wet suits help with buoyancy and are a nice piece of equipment to have, but if you are just trying the sport, a basic swimsuit will work just fine. You can even rent a wet suit if you want to give it a try. Then, if you like the sport, you can consider investing in one for the next season.
Q: What kind of bike do I need?
A: Typically, whatever equipment you’ve got in the garage will be adequate for your first race. Just make sure to take the bike to your local bike shop and have it tuned up and ready to roll before the big day. You will want to make sure the brakes are working properly and that the tires are pumped to the right pressure. There’s nothing worse than riding a bike with insufficient air pressure in the tires: it feels like you are carrying a load of bricks! If you don’t have a bike, I would suggest starting out with an entry-level road bike with quality components.
Q: Do I have to run in the triathlon?
A: No. You will find good company if you simply walk the last leg of the triathlon. Some sprint triathlon participants walk the whole 3 miles, and that’s just fine. In fact, the walkers usually get the most cheers when they cross the finish line!
Sprint Triathlon Training Program
T: Transition. Move fast from one sport to the next. Have all your gear ready to go. Weeks 2 and 3 include practice for Transition 2 (T2), the transition from biking to running. Starting at Week 4, add a mini tri, with Transition 1 (T1) and T2 practice. This mini tri will prepare you for the big day!
Notice that Week 8 is a taper week, which means that you are cutting the training in half to let your body rest up right before the race. Never replace any missed workouts on this week! Believe it or not, it’s better to attempt a race undertrained than over-trained. Of course, the best way to go is having trained just right!
If you are new to running or biking, you can join local biking/running groups to ease yourself into the sports with some great community support. Joining a group will help you adjust to the new exercise, connect with other local cyclists and runners, and/or explore new routes. If you need some help with swimming, try your local YMCA or gym. And if you want more information about triathlons, check out my book Triathlon For Girls Like Us (guys, just skip the bra section and you will be fine ). Also, check out my other posts on what to wear, transition set up, open water swimming, and race day.
Ironman New Zealand Review March 25, 2013
Swim: Outstanding. Lake Taupo waters are crystal clear, and there was no wind on the morning of the race, which created very fast swimming conditions.
Bike: Good. Two loops on quiet roads. The roads were a bit rough. The wind picked up on the second lap, making the last 30 m a bit hard, but at least the first lap was enjoyable.
Run: Very nice. Three laps by the lake. Even though we were running by the lake, the terrain was rolling.
We chose Ironman NZ in Taupo for the location and previous reviews of the race. IM NZ is the oldest international Ironman in the world, and 2014 will be their 30th anniversary, so if you are interested, don’t wait too long: go sign up now!
We flew from New Jersey on Saturday afternoon and arrived in Auckland on Monday at 5 am. We picked up our Campervan (a nightmare of a pick-up: we don’t recommend Lucky rentals!) and drove to Kawhia, a nice little town south of Raglan with a hot water beach (where you can dig your own hot pool at low tide) along the west coast. We stayed at Kawhia Beachside Scape, where we made our first best friends. Kiwi people are super nice and friendly! The next morning, after digging our hot pool at the hot water beach, we drove to Taupo and stayed there until Monday after the race. In Taupo, we stayed at Great Holiday Park, also a very nice park. Great Holiday is a bit bigger than Kawhia, but still family-operated and personable.
Packet pick-up was on Thursday, and bike drop off was Friday. They also had a mandatory wet suit dip to protect the lake from a problematic algae known as didymo. Didymo is locally known as “rock snot,” so you can imagine how unpleasant it becomes when it spreads in freshwater environments. The algal bloom has affected some rivers on the south island, and they are trying to keep it from reaching the north island. The wet suit dip, which consisted of soaking our suits in a 2% solution of warm water and dish soap for 1 minute, was a simple, fast and fun procedure. The volunteer in charge was such a character: he really made us laugh and we had a great time while helping the environment.
Race Day: We arrived at 5:30 and parked our Campervan three blocks from the Finish, in a lot suggested by the race organizers. We had no problem finding a parking spot. From there, we walked to the bag drop-off zone, on to the transition area, and finally to the lake (~4 blocks total). At about 6:30, a canoe with Maori warriors washed ashore and challenged the IM NZ director with a Haka (a traditional war or challenge dance made popular by the NZ rugby team The All Black). In this case, the challenge was to complete the Ironman. The performance was so powerful, emotional, and full of energy that you had no option other than to accept the challenge and compete in the race!
By 6:50, the elite athletes were swimming and by 7, the rest of the field had started to swim. The water of Lake Taupo is more than crystal clear: it’s a dream of a body of water. You can see everything, which made it easier to find openings and avoid other swimmers. According to the race director, it was a fast swim due to weather conditions, and I felt the same. I had a great time swimming.
T1: The first transition area was located 400 m away from the lake and mostly uphill, with a couple of stairs. It took me ~3 min to enter the tents, which were roomy, with a few volunteers around to help. Leaving the area, additional volunteers were spraying sunscreen for anyone who wanted some UV protection.
The Bike: The bike route starts with a short, flat ride by the lake. Then you have the first uphill, which is nice and gradual. Twenty km into the ride, you hit the 10-k downhill (later, it becomes a dreadful uphill); then the road flattens out for about 40k and the beautiful downhill is no more. After the first loop, I stopped to put more sunscreen on; I could see my legs starting to get red. I had forgotten to have the volunteers spray my thighs, and I didn’t want to bake in the sun. The second loop sends you down a side road before hitting the nice 10-k downhill. This side road had very rough pavement, and there were tons of bike accessories scattered across the road (water bottle cages, CO2 cartridges, tires, etc.), so make sure that all your accessories are tightly fastened! During the second loop, the wind picked up, so the going was a bit tougher, especially when I hit the last 20 k: that 10-k hill at the end felt like the Alps to me!
T2: Again, uphill, but this time, it helps you slow down and dismount. The tent was pretty empty when I arrived, so I moved quite fast. After another quick dose of sunscreen, I was on my way.
The Run: By now, my stomach was feeling pretty bad, so I ran the marathon mostly on flat cola and pretzels for the salt. The run is three loops by the lake and another little loop through a lakeside neighborhood. The residents had brought their tables and chairs outdoors and were having a great party and making us a part of it. It was great to have so much support all along the course. There was only one cooling station, but many residents had their garden hoses out and kindly offered to spritz anyone who needed a cool-off. Unluckily however, one of my sneakers got a bit too wet, and I ended up with a blister on my mid-foot.
After the first loop, my stomach was settling down, so I was more confident that I was going to finish the race: woohoo! Feeling better,
I just had a great time for the rest of the run and made lots of friends on those last two loops. The crowd was awesome. Some of spectators will remember your name and cheer for you, and the finish line was great: huge crowd, lots of support, and very emotional.
It sure felt great to finish the race! After receiving my finisher medal and a towel, I was directed by a volunteer towards the medical station, where I was quickly discharged after the standard procedure. At the tent, they had pasta, rice (which was a bit too spicy for me), sandwiches, mini muffins, and ice cream. They also had massage therapists that were exceptional! I picked up my bike that night but had to come back the next day to fetch my special needs bag (I ditched my battery-less GPS on the first loop of the run). Both pick-ups were fast and easy.
Both dinners, pre- and post-race, were great. The food and entertainment were awesome, especially during the pre-race dinner, which had a Maori group that sang, danced, and performed a Haka at the end (this one was ceremonial, and less intimidating than the one that took place at the lake!)
I can complain all I want about my stomach problems starting the marathon or my lack of bike training during the winter in New Jersey, which made the 112-m a bit harder than I would have liked. But the truth is, like usual, I was completely humbled by certain fellow participants. Such were Ken, Peggy, Garth and Dave. Peggy and Garth were the oldest athletes at ages 72 and 76. Even though they did not finish, they both started the marathon, so hats off to both of them. Ken, a participant with only one arm, did finish the race with almost 45 min to spare. To cope with his handicap, Ken used a prosthesis during the bike portion of the race. Ken was so approachable and had such a great, utterly contagious attitude during the run. Lastly, Dave, who was part of the group known as Ironmaori, finished at 1:30 am. Dave is a BIG guy, and personally, I was glad when I saw him running, because I was a little afraid he wouldn’t finish the bike on time. This video of Dave finishing gives me goosebumps: judge for yourself what the true essence of the Ironman is. You go, guys and girls! You are Ironman to me!!!!!
IM NZ is a first-class race. The volunteers were spectacular, as were the crowds. I strongly recommend this race. Don’t miss your chance to be there for their 30 anniversary in 2014!
After the race, we traveled around the north island in the Campervan, which is an absolute beauty of a place. No bungee jumping for us though. The Ironman was exciting enough!
MascomaMan Half Ironman Review December 9, 2012
Location: Mascoma Lake, Enfield, New Hampshire, USA
Registration: Very good; easy-to-follow directions online
Communication: Good. Not much information on the web site, but when I asked for specific info, I got an immediate helpful response.
Getting to Start: Very good; easy to reach and easy parking
Course: Very good. Swim = great! Two loops on Macoma lake’s pristine water. Bike = hilly; very scenic; low traffic. The pavement in some places was very rough. Run = gorgeous! Out and back on quiet, scenic roads, nice shade most of the time. Mix of rolling hills, a few steep but short ones, but the Rails-to-Trails segment was nice and flat.
Organization: Very good, although there should have been at least one port-a-potty along the bike running routes, as well as clearer and more consistent information available (see below).
Price: Very good ($120 per person, although the complementary T-shirt was cotton).
Weather: Great; a bit foggy, but the rain held up until everyone had wrapped up, including the organizers!
I chose the MascomaMan triathlon mostly for its terrain: I like hills! Besides, as my husband and I found out, Mascoma Lake and the surrounding area are gorgeous. I also liked that it was a small race (300 athletes combined, sprint and half) and fit my schedule. The race was held at the end of July, which gave me enough time to train on the bike while leaving me with enough summer to rest up (or not… I ended up signing up for another event in September, not to mention the NYC Marathon ).
Signing up for the race was easy through active.com. We stayed at the Shaker Hill Bed & Breakfast, located about 5 miles away. Our original idea was to bike to the starting place, but we ended up driving on Race Day.
From NJ, it took us 5:30 hrs to reach Enfield. Upon arriving, we headed directly to the Packet Pick up at Drummond Cycles (Fri: 5 pm – 8 pm and Sat: 5:30 am – 8:30 am), located a few yards from the transition area. The organizers offered a practice swim in the lake at 6 pm on Friday, which was great for beginners. They practiced mass start, passing, and drafting— all great skills for new triathletes to learn. After the practice swim, we headed to the Shaker Hill and met Nancy, the owner of the B&B, who gave us a few ideas of where to go for our pre-race dinner. We ended up in the nearby town of Lebanon, where we carbo-loaded at an Italian restaurant.
On the morning of the race, Nancy prepared an awesome breakfast for all the tri guests at the B&B. She served us bagels, cookies and delicious scones, along with coffee and hot water for tea: it was the best pre-race breakfast I’d ever had!
After breakfast, getting to the starting location was a breeze, and parking was so easy it made me smile! Before entering the transition area (TA), some of the volunteers checked my bike’s brakes and helmet, while others were doing body marking. The transition area was divided in two: one side for the sprint triathlon and the other for the half. The bike racks were numbered, although bike placement was first come, first served. Personal space in the transition area was just right; there was no room to spare, but it wasn’t too tight either. There were two entrances to the TA: one from the water and one to the bike and run courses, but only one sign (“BIKE OUT”).
The swim was a two-loop water start in Mascoma Lake. There were 4 waves of 30-35 athletes in each, which made the swim much easier and less crowded than most. The waves were supposed to be grouped by age, but that was changed at the last minute. Each athlete’s randomly assigned wave number was printed on the top of their goody bag; of course, I didn’t check mine, thinking it would be based on age. Lucky for me, a volunteer was there to look up everyone’s wave numbers: thank you, Volunteer!
The run from the water to the TA was a couple of minutes up a little hill, where a photographer was poised to snap our pics: hope everyone remembered to smile!
Transition 1 (T1) was pretty good; easy to navigate from the water to the bike course. The only problem was that the sprint triathlon athletes were walking around and placing their equipment while us half IM people we’re trying to get out with our bikes.
The bike portion of the race was challenging but very picturesque. The route had a total ascent of 1,807.74 ft and maximum elevation of 1,587.93 ft ). It was well signaled, and there were policeman or volunteers at each major intersection and turn. The ride started with rolling hills, then flattened up until about Mile 35. Then, the real hills started appearing. Luckily, the last 5 m are mostly downhill, which I loved! There were two bottle exchange stations (~Miles 15 and 35) with water and HEED, but no food or port-a-potties. One complaint (albeit out of the organizers’ reach) was the state of the roads; some were in pretty sad condition. Fortunately, there was some re- paving work going on, so maybe next year the roads will be awesome .
T2 was a breeze. The height of the bike rack was perfect for getting the bike in and out without a problem; bravo! Of course, a “RUN OUT” sign would have been nice.
The run consisted largely of rolling hills, with a total ascent of 344.49 ft and maximum elevation of 918.64 ft. (mapmyrun.com). It was very scenic and mostly shady, with many aid stations providing water, HEED, cola, ice, and food, along with awesomely helpful volunteers to cheer us on. The one thing missing was a port-a-potty. The only times the course took us on busy roads were at the beginning and the end (less than 2 m each), but the shoulders were wide enough to accommodate both bikes and runners. The rest of the running route followed quiet roads and a trail. I almost wore my minimalist shoes for the race, but decided against it because of the trail portion. However, after seeing the trail, I’m sure I could have worn them without a problem.
The finish was very nice: the picture I got with the historic building in the background (right) was very unique.
The post-race party and food were good; there were pre-packaged sandwiches, soda, yogurt, and even beer! There was plenty of room to spread around, and everybody was very nice to talk to.
One thing that concerned a few athletes (including me for a while) was that bikes were not provided race numbers. When I left my bike on the rack to start the run, I was a little worried, although no one had any problems. Future athletes might appreciate numbers for their bikes, though.
Overall, my experience was very good, and I definitively recommend this race. The area is lovely, the organizers were the nicest I’ve encountered, and atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. Small races have their pros (i.e., easy to access, not crowded) and cons (i.e., more disorganized, you may find yourself alone at times) but for this race, the pros definitely outweighed the cons.
After the race, we had dinner at a sponsoring restaurant, where we got to meet and chat with some of the race organizers. We headed back home Sunday morning and had a nice rest during our 5-hour trip back to NJ.
This was my 9th half IM, and I loved it. I probably won’t be back (there are too many other races to try!), but this one definitely falls among the top of my list, along with the Mussleman in NY and the Wiebaden in Germany. Try it out & see for yourself (it’s a small race, so the chances that you will place are high!)
Turkey Trot 5 Mile Training- Week 8 November 18, 2012
Race Week Tips
1- Taper: Up to now you have trained hard enough, so taper week is the pay back for that effort. On the week before the race, scale back your training to let your body recover from the tireless work you had put forward. Cut your training in half from the previous week, and enjoy the extra time off. You will be plenty busy with Thanksgiving preparations anyways!
2- On race day, don’t forget your breakfast: Have your regular breakfast and yes, you can drink coffee. One to two cups of coffee a couple of hours before the race will not interfere with your running (now, if you drink that coffee 15 min before the gun goes off… you might be running for the next port-a-potty J)
3- Stay hydrated during the race: If you think that your race will take you more than one hour, bringing an isotonic drink with you on the run will help by giving you that extra oomph instead of feeling drained after an hour. Use this taper week to try different brands and find the one you will like. My favorites are the Nuun tablets. They are mild in taste and are gentler than Gatorade. (Make sure you try them before the race, don’t try anything new on race day.) If you are going to finish within an hour, you can just take water at the hydration tables at the race. But don’t forget to grab them! You will feel much better at the end!
4- Dress in layers: It might be cold, it might get warmer… you wish you could predict the weather! Dressing up in layers will take the pressure off. As you feel that you are warming up, start peeling the layers so you can run comfortably. One piece of clothing that became one of my favorites lately is a pair of arm warmers. These are sleeves that run from wrist to shoulder that you can use when cold and then can pull down to your wrists when you warm up. If you are wearing a top with back pockets, you can also store the arm warmers in there. They take little room, and you won’t have to deal with carrying a long sleeve shirt during the race.
5- Hold your pace: This is your race! Make sure you hold your pace and don’t try to run anybody else’s race. Stick to what you know and trained for. In the end, this will give you a better experience than trying to run faster or pushing it harder to keep up with other runners.
6- Post-race nutrition: The race organizers have that all taken care off! Chef Roscoe will be there to share his bounty! Stay for the after race party and share your experience with the rest of the runners J
We are in Taper week this week. Training is reduced your by about half of the previous week which will reduce fatigue and increase performance during the race. Even if you missed a few of the last week’s runs, take it easy this week; you will be better off going to the race undertrained than over-trained. I promise you!!
8 Week Training Schedule for the Westfield Turkey Trot 5m – 2012
The numbers are minutes of walk/jog, jog, or run at a pace that will allow you to have a conversation.
* This 20 min run will help you recover better by “cleaning” the byproducts left from the race’s high intensity exercise. Run the 20 min at the easiest pace you can (walk as much as you need).
Do strength training (ST) early in the week this week, and only one session. Save your legs for the race .
For more info, check out my book: “RUNNING For Girls Like Us”
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and good luck in the race!!!