Running 101: Important Non-Running Things to Do While You Train for a Race
Training is a long rehearsal of sorts. You’re conditioning your body to take on a distance and each training run, whether it’s long, short, fast or slow, is getting you closer to race day. Running aside, there are other things to think about and prepare for as you train.
Hydration Strategy. Will you be carrying water/electrolytes or using the water stations on the race course? If you’re carrying your own it’s important to find the drink that works best for your body and practice the intervals you’ll take in fluids. If you plan on using the water stations find out what drink will be offered and PRACTICE WITH IT! Will you walk through water stations or do you need to practice drinking on the run?
Fuel Strategy. During training is the time to experiment with various forms of fuel. Test a variety of foods, gels, chews, blocks, waffles, etc to determine what works best for your body and practice taking in fuel at proper intervals. A rough guideline is every 45 minutes. Also think about night-before and race-morning food choices, as well as how you’re going to carry your fuel during the race.
Clothing. Training is the ideal time to test out clothing options so you’ll have an outfit that is tried and true for race day. Have a variety of pieces ready to go because one never knows what Mother Nature will dish up on race day.
Running Gear/Accessories. Now’s the time to decide on shoes you love, a playlist if you plan on running with music, and any other accessories you’d like to race with: Make sure any handheld bottles or fuel belts, visors, headbands, sunglasses, etc. are comfortable for the long run.
Mental Game. Not only are you training your body to race, you’re also training your mind. Each training run is an opportunity to practice positive self-talk. Pick a few mantras you can lean on in the later miles when the going gets really tough. Visualize a strong, triumphant finish. What the mind believes the body achieves.