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8 race day running tips for rookies

Race day tips for rookie runners

Photo credit: Running Room

Rule #1: Relax!

The best advice for first-time racers is to relax and enjoy yourself. Racing is meant to be a stimulating, memorable experience. You will enjoy the experience more if you keep things in perspective and use common sense. Even if something goes wrong in your first race—like getting stomach cramps or having your shoelaces come untied—it’s not the end of the world. You’ll live to run and race again.

Here are 8 race day running tips for rookies from John Stanton, founder of the Running Room:

1. Your Goal: Your goal is simply to finish. Your first race is for the experience, not for the competition. Be sure to finish smiling and wanting to race again.

2. Eating and Drinking: On race day, don’t eat or drink anything out of the ordinary. For last meal, taken at least three hours before the race start, you might want to eat less than normal, since nervousness could upset your digestive system. In warm weather, drink 500 mL of water one hour before the start, and continue drinking every 10 minutes during the race.

3. Strategy: Planning your race strategy in advance will build your confidence. Break the course into small sections, making sure you know the locations of hills and other key landmarks. It’s particularly useful to be familiar with the last half-kilometre of the course, where you will be budgeting your energy for the finish. On race day, it’s a good idea to warm up by running the last half-kilometre of the course and setting a few landmarks in your mind.

4. Getting Ready: When you arrive at the race, don’t be intimidated by what you see other runners doing. Do some walking, some stretching and some easy running to loosen up.

5. Lining Up and Starting: Make your way to the back of the pack where you won’t get caught in the starting sprint. Many races have Running Room pacing groups: join the group that will be running at a pace you feel comfortable with. Begin slowly. Don’t worry about all the runners who take off ahead of you.. Maintain that pace, the one that allows you to talk comfortably, at least until you reach the halfway mark.

6. Walking: Use the proven strategy of running 10 minutes and walking 1 minute. Nowhere on the entry form does it say that you can’t walk. So if you feel the need, take a walk break, particularly on the hills.

7. Finishing: Keep your pace constant and steady. Don’t sprint hard at the finish line. Concentrate on finishing with good, strong, relaxed form.

8. Recovery: After you finish, be sure to walk around for a cool-down. Drink plenty of fluids, especially if it’s a hot day. Change into dry clothes as soon as possible, and when you get home, stretch your muscles thoroughly after taking a cool shower. Don’t do any running the next day. Running on tired leg muscles only tempts injury.


Post Marathon Recovery Tips

post marathon recovery tipsTraining for a marathon is a daunting task. Not only can it take many months of training, dedication, and a proper diet, but post marathon recovery is the last and final stage of your marathon journey.

Similar to the training schedule of stress and rest, running the marathon puts extreme stress on the body. Within minutes of crossing the finish line, the body begins the intense recovery process, which could last days, or weeks, depending on your conditioning.

After completing a marathon it is imperative to allow the body to rest and recuperate; the average recreational runner could need up to four weeks to recover. In addition, physical recovery there is also a psychological component to consider, since marathons can be excruciating affairs mentally.

In order to ensure quality recovery after a marathon, then the following tips should be considered:

  • After finishing the marathon, the first thing to be done is to hydrate. The body burns on average around 1 cup of water during 15 minutes of strenuous exercises; sports drinks contain electrolytes, which will help the body absorb and retain water.
  • Chocolate milk is the ideal post-marathon recovery drink. It contains the perfect mix of 75% carbohydrates and 25% protein. It should be consumed within 20 minutes of crossing the finish line; the most imperative time when the body needs to be refueled because the body has already started the recovery process.
  • Replenishing the body with vital nutrients within the first 30-60 minutes after running a marathon is necessary. In order to rebuild muscles, lean proteins should be consumed, while carbohydrates are needed to replace all the energy expended during the run; finally to replenish sugars and vitamins fruit such as blueberries and bananas are ideal. A perfect nutritious post-marathon combination is a bagel, a banana accompanied with chocolate milk.
  • Other effective method for speeding up recovery time is use Epsom salt baths and also receive a massage, which helps speed up the recovery process significantly. After competing, it is also crucial rest one’s legs, they should also be elevated to remove lactic acid at a more rapid rate. For example, lay on the floor beside the wall, and place your feet on the wall, above your head to let the lactic acid flow out faster.
  • A common mistake that some runners make is to not change out of their running clothes quick enough. Being damp and cold can easily lead to a cold, therefore it is important to have spare clothes ready that are warm and dry.
  • Stretching after a marathon is crucial since the entire body has underwent immense stress and tension; by stretching it is possible to avoid muscle cramps, pain, while also increasing flexibility.
  • After completing a marathon, the most effective time-frame to receive a massage is 48-72 hours. The most ideal massage method is the Swedish style since the long and sweeping strokes improve circulation back to the heart. On the other hand, deep tissue massages are to be avoided as well as long, static stretches because the muscles are in a weakened state. For long distance running, slow and dynamic stretches are recommended.

After running a marathon, a 16 km run every other week is an efficient way to help condition the body in order to sustain one’s endurance. Following such a regime can help shorten the training for the next marathon to 12 weeks, while faster half-marathons can be prepared for in six weeks.


The Top 3 Benefits Runners Gain From Massage Therapy

Long distance running puts a lot of strain on a runners body. Runners often complain about being tight, cramping, having tension and other tissue injuries. Massage therapy is an effective treatment for runners to help recover faster.

According to Vancouver’s PainPro Therapeutics, here are the top three benefits runners can receive through massage therapy:

  1. Speed Up Recovery Time: This is done by loosening tight muscles. Chronic tight muscles restrict blood flow, which traps in de-oxygenated blood causing pain and discomfort. Massage can help break up the adhesion in the muscle that causes tightness, reducing the restriction of blood flow, bringing fresh, oxygen-filled blood allowing the muscle tissue to repair and heal faster. A post-race massage can help a runner recover faster in a shorter period of time, meaning they can focus on what they love doing – running pain free!
  2. Improve Running Time and Performance: Runners are always looking for ways to run faster, smoother and reduce their risk of injury. Fascia is a connective tissue found throughout the body. It’s a 3D web support of muscles. As you start to run, the fascia becomes tight and begins to compress the muscle causing compression of blood vessles and nerves, giving the sensation of tingling or weakness. Fascial therapy  releases the tension by lengthening and expanding the muscle tissues, reducing the overall pressure, which leads to better performance.
  3. Educate: An RMT who understands the mechanics and nuisances of a long distance runner can be a runners best friend because they have a wealth of information. They can provide valuable ‘homework’ assignments to further improve recovery time or prevent further injury including stretching and strengthening exercises, and other effective treatments like hydro-therapy.

 

PainPro Therapeutics offers affordable, quick, and easy access to effective pain relief through advanced massage therapy techniques. The have clinics in the business district and in Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver and offer both same-day and online booking capabilities.

 


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