5 Ways to get yourself healthy and ready for a race
Getting ready for the big day can be a little daunting if you do not know much of the things that go into the preparation for a virtual race. As most attention tends to focus on the actual day of running, we usually forget to prepare ourselves before the actual racing day. Safety precautions, for one, must not be taken lightly as they might come in handy in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Find out the safety precautions you need to take when participating in a virtual run by clicking here.
Keeping yourself fit and healthy could make or break your performance on the day of running. Hence, it is important to know the basic steps on how to ensure your body gets the adequate amount of energy it needs to run.
Here are 5 ways to keep your body healthy before a race
1. Eat well
It is important to fuel and replenish your body with adequate nutrition to keep yourself energised and hydrated before the race. As the race approaches, it is ideal to increase the consumption of carbohydrates, starchy vegetables, fruits, and lean protein foods to build up your energy reserves. While eating more is better in this context, there are certain foods you need to cross off your list even if you enjoy them daily.
For example, deep-fried foods that contain high saturated fats such as bacon and sausages are to be exempted from your menu temporarily as they are dense in calories and take a longer time to digest, which might lead to gastrointestinal distress. Next, definitely avoid dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt on a racing day to not run the risk of stomach ache. Some might even avoid coffee on the day as it is a diuretic drink that increases your need to urinate. But with virtual racing, you can run at your own pace, so there is no need to worry about taking that toilet break!
2. Stay hydrated
It is important to drink enough water throughout the racing week. Generally, we should stick to the recommended eight glasses of water every day, but staying hydrated goes beyond just drinking water as there are other methods to keep yourself hydrated.
As a runner, not getting an adequate amount of sodium will be detrimental as you lose an average of one gram of sodium per litre of sweat, making salt a crucial component for hydration. Plus, the tropical weather means more sweating, thus making water and sodium equally important.
However, you can tackle this problem by adding a little extra sprinkle of salt to your meal or take in some salted peanuts before the race. You can also add sports drinks to your runs as they contain sodium to maintain fluid balance.
3. Moderate exercises before and after the race
Although it is important to get a good rest before the big day, you also need to practice moderate exercises. A simple 20-minute run before the race helps to boost your confidence and gives you a sense of calmness as it helps you to loosen up and shake off any nervousness you might have.
Moreover, similar to regular warm-ups, a 15 to 20 minutes run the day before the race can also improve blood flow to your legs and help your muscles to store glycogen more efficiently, allowing you to power through the long run on the race day. After the race, you might want to consider post-race workouts to cool down your body. The goal here is to get the body to return to its resting state, flushing out the waste products, and maintain healthy muscle functions.
You can try an easy jog and walk for 10 to 20 minutes after the race, hydrate and refuel to repair any muscle damage or even do some gentle stretching! Keep in mind that the overall goal is to develop a personal cool down and recovery strategy that helps your body perform its natural healing process more efficiently.
4. Getting enough sleep and rest before the race
We know that before any big races, it is difficult to get a good night's sleep due to the excitement, anticipation and nervousness. However, experts have said that consistent and proper sleep throughout the training period is important. Being unable to sleep the night before is not a make-or-break factor, and it is rather common for obvious reasons. The key is to make the best of your sleeping schedule whenever possible, and if you cannot, a subpar rest is always better than nothing.
5. Manage your pre-race jitters
Pre-race jitters are common among veteran and amateurs alike, but at times, it can turn into performance anxiety, which can be overwhelming. But there are ways to overcome pre-race jitters and the anxiety that is typically rooted in fear of failure. A few ways to cope include warming up properly days before the race, focusing your mind on something that is more pleasant and visualising your success instead of worrying about possible failures. After all, success is about the journey, not the destination!
We cannot do our best if we are not feeling our best—staying healthy is key to delivering your very best performance on any given race day! However, with virtual racing, you get to choose your route and run in your own time following your own pace. What this means for you is that when you are not in your best state, you can just opt to run another day!
Virtual racing is ideal especially with the case of cumulative races as one does not have to force themselves to complete the race in one go. That said, if you are looking for some competition that gives you more flexibility in terms of when and where you run, look no further than our virtual races here.
For more information about our races or to know how we can help you organise a virtual race competition, get in touch with us now!