Friday, November 2, 2012

Race Prep - the right way

If you follow my blog, you know that I completely bombed the Chicago Half Marathon due to poor pre-race prep, even after month of training. So I'm making it a point to prepare well for this Sunday's Hot Chocolate 15K in Chicago. I've been eating (clean) carb-heavy meals all week consisting mainly of brown rice and sweet potato. Loading up on wheat products is never a good idea, in my opinion. (Gluten is difficult on your digestive system, even if you're not intolerant.) I made some easy vegetable paella and added soy sausage to make it more of a meal (pictured below). A simple paella is pretty much just risotto, add a bunch of rice and vegetables together and cook on a pan with broth. I also made a healthy tempeh stir fry with brown rice. I'm also going to make some sweet potato soup!

For my last race, I ate toast with peanut butter before the race and I think it made my stomach hurt. I've actually been eating pumpkin pudding/pie before my runs for the past month and it works really well! I'm not kidding! The main ingredients are pumpkin, agave nectar, and silken tofu. They are easy on your stomach and provide lots of natural carbs to sustain energy. So, I made another batch this week and am going to eat pumpkin pie before my race! Along with Vega's Pre-Workout Energizer and probably a banana immediately before the race. I'm also going to take along 1 packet of Vega Sport Endurance Gel to eat at the water station right before mile 5. Here's the course in case you're interested. I've used all of these products before/during long runs. It is essential to not try new things before/during a race. This includes gear, clothes, shoes, food, gels, drinks, etc.

I've mentioned this before, but a lot of runners make the mistake of not practicing running at the time of day that the race is at. For example, if you're an an evening runner and your race is early in the morning, your body will have a harder time adjusting and ramping up the adrenaline to run during the race. I run/workout in the mornings, which has many benefits (read my post), so this is not an issue for me. Waking up at 5 am may also be difficult and leave you sluggish. I would suggest that the 1-2 weeks before the race (if it is a morning race), that you wake up early and go running. Our bodies like habits and it really doesn't take that long to transition your sleep/workout schedule to align with your race time. If you keep a regular workout schedule, your body actually starts ramping up the adrenaline when it's time to workout everyday. (I think this is why it's impossible for me to sleep in.)

I'm hoping I can redeem myself and do well in this race, wish me luck!

Do you have any race advice?

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