With the San Diego Rock 'N Roll Marathon and half marathon a few days away, I thought I would start a discussion on what to do the week of a race. Here is a recent blog post - please add any tips/suggestions you have for feeling awesome on race day.
Director of Strength & Conditioning - RU Sports Performance Center
"Taper" is arguable the most exciting word in the athlete's language! You will not gain any fitness the week of your race, so you might as well do what you can to have fresh legs on raceday.
Here are a few tips for the 3-7 days before your big race:
-Focus on flexibility and mobility, however, do not do any new stretching exercises.
-Get in a tempo run a few days prior to your race - for a half or full marathon, this involves a 10 min warm up followed by 4-6 miles at your goal race pace. You should not be very tired after this, it's designed to mentally prepare you for race day.
-Sleep more in the days leading to the race (since you probably will not get much sleep the night before your race).
-Increase water and carbohydrate intake. "Carbo Loading" can increase stored carbohydrate in the muscles - water is equally important since we store water with that extra carbohydrate (glycogen).
-If in doubt, take an extra day of rest - once again, you can not increase your fitness in a few days, but you can potentially get hurt or sore.
-Above all, smile and laugh each day (especially if race anxiety starts to get the best of you).
Good Luck to all Rock 'N Roll Participants!
Rehab United Physical Therapy
RU Sports Performance Center
"Where Athletes Become Champions" (TM)
San Diego, CA