Tips for a Successful Race Day
As runners, we have to be ready for almost every kind of weather situation. As this year’s 2017 Chicago Half Marathon & 5K is approaching, we are keeping our fingers crossed for ideal running conditions. However, the forecasts are predicting otherwise. With the predicted warm weather, our coaches at Life Time Run have provided you with some tips on what you should be doing to prepare for race day!
Days Before the Race
- Make sure you are properly hydrated. Start hydrating days before the race, looking to have urine be of light yellow. Hydrating the day of will not prepare your body properly for the potential loss of fluids.
- Choose water to be your beverage at meal times.
- Prepare your mind for the possibility of adjusting your goals and outcome expectations for race day.
- If you are a heavy sweater, look at taking in some extra sodium the day before. The increased sodium in your blood will have you feeling like you need to drink more in order to balance it out. This will aid in hydrating you better.
- Start thinking about what to wear on race day. With the warm weather approaching, choosing our apparel is very important. Choose loose fitting, vented moisture-wicking apparel. Look at wearing a Sun Visor or a hat, sun glasses, and sweat-proof Sun Screen.
- Hydrate with water and sport drinks that have electrolytes hours prior to race.
- Use what has worked best on your training runs throughout your weeks of preparation. Over hydrating on race day can result in a sloshy stomach, which is not pleasant during a race. If you have properly hydrated over the past days (using light colored urine as your guide) you should be able to follow what you have used during your training runs.
- Choose drinks with electrolytes.
- Look at eating a cold breakfast to assist in cooling your core such as chilled grapes or some other form of fresh fruit you have used prior to your training runs. Ice cold smoothies and crushed ice drinks work well too.
- Take a cold shower or tub prior to the event and focus on dropping your core temperature.
- Apply Sunscreen that is Sweat-proof of 30 SPF or higher.
- We need to focus on keeping our core cool, skin breathable and maintaining pale colored urine.
- Think about eliminating caffeinated drinks that will potentially further dehydrate you. Look at maybe cutting down the amount of caffeine if you feel it necessary to perform or if this has been a practice of yours during your training runs.
- For your warm-up, minimize activities that will raise your core temperature and do only what you feel is necessary to safely perform and prevent injury.
During the Race
- Start slower than planned and focus on having a strong finish and use perceived efforts to guide you through out your race.
- Use the Water/Aid Stations.
- Grab either the electrolyte and the water for drinking and a water to dump on your head if needed at all Aid/Water Stations.
- Utilize your pre-adjusted goals to how you feel currently and race day conditions. If needed, slow your pace and walk when needed. Perhaps slowing, walking and utilizing the water/aid stations to rehydrate with electrolytes, water and dump water will be good enough for you. Be sure to pay attention to how you are feeling, and pay attention to how much you are sweating.
Keep an Eye Out For
- If you are having abdominal cramping or larger muscle cramps this possible and indicator of an electrolyte imbalance.
- If you are starting to feel confused, dizzy or sick get help! This is not one of those “I’ll though it through” moments. We have several Aid stations and people who are there if you need help. Get the help when symptoms are first noticed. This could be life threatening.
- Over hydrating can become a serious issue as well resulting in a dangerous condition called Hyponatremia. Noticing that your fingers are swelling would be early signs of Hyponatremia.
Emergency Alert System (EAS)
This race will utilize the EAS system, encompassing a color-coded system to reveal current event conditions. Participants will notice flags posted throughout the Race Venue, at the Finish Line and at each Aid Station on Race Day. EAS updates will be communicated through PA announcements, social media, web posts and/or dedicated emails.