The 5th Annual High Bridge Half-Marathon & 5K is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. Whether you are a long-time runner or an amateur, running the half-marathon or 5K there are lots of things you can do to prepare for Race Day. Here are some tips to keep your mind and body in top running condition.
Warm-Up Before Running
Neglecting to warm-up can lead to serious injury. To warm-up wisely begin by walking gently for three to five minutes. Then add five to six 100-meter strides. Another good warm-up technique is to do dynamic stretches like lunges. Try to avoid static stretching (holding a muscle in a fixed position for 30 second or more) which has been linked to injury.
Keeping your body well hydrated is fundamental to good running health and to prevent heat-related illnesses. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination and muscle cramping. Even more serious heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Prepare for a long run by drinking about 16 ounces of water or other non-caffeinated fluid about an hour before you start, then another 4 to 8 ounces right before you start. Stay hydrated while you are running and don’t forget to rehydrate with water or a sports drink after your run. Some people feel the effects of dehydration hours after their run because they failed to drink fluids after they finished.
Another key component of good running health concerns the fuel your body is using for energy. Foods that are high in quality protein, nutrients and good carbohydrates are the best for running health and will keep you going past the finish line. Some of the best foods to consume before and after running are bananas, oats, peanut butter, broccoli, plain yogurt, dark chocolate and whole-grain pasta.
Stay Mentally Tough
Running a half-marathon or 5K can test your mental strength as much as it does your physical fitness. Make sure to run your own race at your own pace. Going too fast at first and not setting a pace is one the most common mistakes. Don’t worry about people passing you (remember the story of the tortoise and the hare).
Breaking up the distance into smaller segments helps make a half-marathon more manageable. At mile 10, for example, think, “It’s just a 5K to go.”
Keep your mind occupied: Try singing songs, playing mental games, or counting people to stay focused.
Get Plenty of Rest
Resting your body is just as important as pushing it. Your body needs time to rebuild and repair. Be sure to take your scheduled rest days but also listen to your body. If you’re feeling worn down, have no energy, feel sore, tired, lethargic and or unmotivated, check your resting heart rate before getting out of bed. If it’s just a few beats higher than normal you more than likely are over training and need a rest day.
Take advantage of the premiere running event in Downtown Farmville by registering for the High Bridge half-Marathon & 5K. Experienced runners, amateurs and walkers are all invited to come and join the festivities. Bring the whole family out on September 9 to help cheer you on! Click here to register for the race.