The Importance of the Basics – Rest & Sleep

Whether your upcoming race is a 5K, 10K, half marathon of the full 26.6, rest and hydration are so important.

Rest. Do not over work the week before your race but keep up what you have been doing. Your body needs to be rested to perform at its best the day of the race. Do not deprive yourself of sleep, but sleep a little more than usual. Sleep 8 to 10 hours a night and take naps during the day; sleeping heals the body and can help keep you from getting sick. Keep your mileage to a minimum, focus on your race pace. Rest your legs and keep them fresh with short speed intervals.

Hydrate. Do no wait to hydrate the day before but start to really hydrate a few days prior. The water you drink a couple days in advance is what will hydrate you during the race. Do not let long periods go by without drinking and try to make up for it later. Rather, keep a bottle of water with you at all times and sip continuously throughout the day. It is recommended that you should not drink alcohol before the big race, perhaps days to even a week or more prior. Alcohol dehydrates the body and it will take away from your running performance.

Depending on the length of your race, increase the amount of complex carbs you consume. Just make sure that you stick to complex carbs and not simple, sugary carbs. The simple carbs will only give you a short burst of energy before your body crashes. A small race such as a 5K, does not require “carb loading”. For these small races eat as you normally would. Also, do not overeat thinking that you must consume as much as you can before the race, that will only slow your body down and even make you tired.

The day before the big race you should relax, perhaps a light run but nothing too exhausting. You want to be rested and prepared when you wake up in the morning so try to give yourself plenty of time to get ready.

The last week before your race is the most important to prepare your body so make it count!

 

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