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Regardless of the distance, training for a race takes dedication and mental fortitude. One of the best ways that you can prepare yourself is to take care of your body in the weeks leading up to the big day. Here are three areas where you should focus your efforts as you prepare for race day.
Any runner knows that the state of your muscles is a key component to your training and race day success. In order to avoid muscle soreness after a run, it is important to stretch the muscles so that they recover more quickly. Soaking in a hot tub relieves muscle pain, as does taking an ice bath. You will need to take care to fuel up immediately after a hard run so that sufficient protein and carbohydrates are delivered to the muscles to aid in the recovery process.
Cutting calories is not what you want to be doing as you prepare your body to handle the rigors of a race. Instead, you should be nourishing your body with the nutrients that it requires to carry you through the distance. You need to put your focus on consuming enough calories to sustain your training and the race for which you're preparing without eating so much that you become sluggish. Eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates will help you to maximize your glycogen stores so that you have sufficient energy. Don't try anything new in the few days leading up to the race or on the day of the event.
Properly hydrating your body is a key factor in the success of the race. Especially if you are running a distance greater than a 10K, you cannot start thinking about the hydration the day of the event. For a distance of a marathon or longer, proper hydration starts up to one week in advance. However, keep in mind that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. It is vital that you figure out the proper balance between being hydrated enough and drinking so much water that you risk developing hyponatremia.
You will sail across the finish line with ease if you take the necessary steps to prepare your body for the road that lies ahead. Being cognizant of these three things will help you to make sure that your body is ready when you start racing. They'll deliver big results when you lace up your running shoes.