We're in the final days leading up to the race and I've learned there's quite a bit of preparation that goes into this stage of training.
1. Tapering Off- the closer to race day, the less you run. Prior to this experience, if you had asked me, I would have felt the opposite was true. I've learned that it's important to taper off the amount of running in the week leading up to the race so that your muscles can rest and you can be as strong as possible.
2. Wardrobe Selection- Make sure you know what you are going to wear on race day and the various logistics that go with that outfit. Never race with new clothing or accessories that you haven't trained with before. I've heard horror stories about chaffing and other discomfort that new clothing can cause.
Due to the expected rise in temperature, I purchased my first pair of calf-length running tights for the race. (Up until now, all of my pants have been long.) Today, on my lunch break, I ran 2 miles in them to ensure that they feel good and do not rub me. As an extra preventative measure on race day, I'll use Body Glide on my toes, thighs and sides. This nifty product protects your skin from friction.
Knowing the logistics of your wardrobe is important too. Have a plan for what you will do if you get hot. During one of our training runs where the temperature rose to the high 50's, I was wearing an arm band over my outer layer and discovered how awkward it can be to take off a shirt while running and holding gear in your teeth...not pretty at all. My plan for this race is to attach my number to my waist belt and route my earbud cords under my short sleeve shirt to the waist belt. That way if I get warm, I can pull off the top layer and wrap it around my waist without having to adjust cords or worrying if my number is visible. Depending on how warm it is that morning, I might skip the top layer altogether. Whatever the situation, it feels good to have a plan and know what to do.
3. Carbo Loading- 2-3 days prior to the race you should increase the amount of carbohydrates that you consume as these will provide easy energy on race day. Bagels, waffles, cereal, rice, pasta, baked potato and fruits like raisins and banana are all good carbs. There are tons of resources online on this topic.
Check out this and this.
Saturday is going to be an absolutely gorgeous day and I encourage you to challenge yourself to get active. Walk or run the 5K, run the half-marathon or just come out to cheer everyone on. Hundreds of people have been training hard for months and could really use support along the course. If you want to sign up for the Martinsville Half-Marathon, 5K & Relay, it's not too late- just visit www.MilesInMartinsville.com or stop by the YMCA.