Two Days to Go: Warm Weather Racing Tips

April 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

Days till race: 2
Miles: 3 miles (After work.)
Feeling: Good

I’m passing along some warm weather racing tips from the Providence  Ronald McDonald House running club.  My co-worker, a  fellow runner, passed them along. She recently ran a marathon in Paris and has been a huge supporter of my half marathon. So here are some tips, courtesy of Amanda, for all you runners out there:

Rule #1 in racing is that you only get about 2-3 races in a lifetime where all conditions are perfect. The key to competing well, whether it is to complete you first long race or to set a new course record, is to account for all the conditions in your race plan. Since Sunday’s weather forecast of 70-80 degrees is less than perfect, here are a few tips for racing well in the heat:

1.     Water, water and more water: It is going to start to warm up Friday, so start drinking lots of water NOW. If you fill a one or two liter bottle of water in the morning and keep drinking small amounts from it, then you’ll know how much you drank over the course of the day.

2.     Don’t go to the beach, do lawn work, or anything else out in the sun on the day before the race.  This will just leave you dehydrated before you even start on race day.

3.     Stick with light, easy to digest foods leading up to the race. Salty and/or fatty foods are going to take more water to digest.

4.     Avoid alcohol, coffee and tea—these are all diuretics and will just draw water out of your system and make you have to pee more.

5.     Wear lightweight, wicking fabrics—our new club uniforms are perfect!

6.     Wear a hat and sports sunglasses, if it is a bright day. Soak the hat with water before the start of the race (unless it’s too cold for this).

7.     Use lots of lubricant on any areas that MIGHT chafe or blister. The Glide Stick, Vaseline, bag balm are all helpful. If an area might chafe or blister in training, it WILL chafe/blister in a long run on a hot day.

8.     Stay in cool shade for as long as you can before the race. Do NOT hang around out in the sun until you absolutely have to be at the race start.

9.     If it is above 60-65 degrees, you might want to douse your head, neck and back with water before the gun goes off. Here’s the reason: your body cools when the sweat evaporates from your skin. But it takes several minutes into the race to really get a good sweat going. If you douse yourself with water before the start, it acts as artificial sweat cooling your body immediately.

10.  Take water early and often during the race. It takes 20-30 minutes for water to get from mouth to muscles, so don’t wait until you start to get thirsty.

11.  Grab two cups at each water stop—first one to drink from; second one to pour over your head and back. In a big race, most water stops are long enough so that you can grab one cup, drink, then grab the second cup and pour.

12.  RACE CONSERVATIVELY!!! In hot weather conditions, the smart runner wins. Start out a little slower and build into the race—you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many people you’ll pass later in the race.

13.  Account for the heat in your race splits. Don’t get discouraged if they are slower than what you had hoped for—you have to make adjustments.

14.  At the finish line, get wet and drink more water—after a hard race in warm weather, you will need to keep drinking lots of water to help your body rehydrate and recover.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Three Days to Go Race begins at 8 a.m.

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