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6 Tips to Help Your Body Prepare for and Recover From Your Next Summer Race

Summer is finally here! Living in Toronto in the summer means there are tons of opportunities to get your run on! From the Sporting Life 10K to Tough Mudder to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and every run in between, there’s a lot to prepare for!

 

Here are some tips to help get your body ready for your next run and some tips to help your body recover post-race so you’re ready to go for the next one!

 

PREPARATION

  1. PRACTICE

It’s hard for your body to go directly from couch potato to marathon runner overnight, so you want to make sure you’ve practiced and trained to get ready for your race. There are some great apps out there that can help you get from couch to 5km in just a few short weeks and clubs or programs like the Running Room which can help you improve your time and motivate you to push the length of your run. Give them a try and make sure you reach at least 80% of your race distance prior to race day so you know you can do it.

  1. HYDRATE

Your body needs to be well hydrated and ready to go for your next race. Drinking too much water the day of the race could leave you with cramps, feeling bloated and uncomfortable. It’s recommended by the American College of Sports to “eat a nutritionally balanced diet and drink adequate fluid during the 24-hour period before an event”. They also recommend drinking 500mL of fluid 2 hours prior to exercise to maintain good hydrate and allow for proper excretion prior to the run. This will help to keep you from getting dehydrated on those hot summer days.

  1. SLEEP + REST

If you want to feel great on your race day, make sure you give yourself adequate rest and sleep in the days prior to your race. Give yourself a break from training for 2 days prior to race day so give your body time to rest up. Make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep – try for at least 6-8 hours for the two nights prior to your race.

 

RECOVERY

  1. COOL DOWN

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, MOTION IS LOTION. Our bodies will have a bit of a rough time going straight from intense activity to complete rest. The best way to recover post-race is to make sure you have a good cool down. Start with a light jog and taper it down to a slow walk. Make sure you also include some dynamic stretching afterwards to give your muscles the best chance of recovery!

  1. HYDRATE AGAIN

Depending on the length of your race, you may want to start rehydrating in regular intervals during the race to maintain fluids that might be lost during exercise. Again, depending on the length and intensity of exercise, electrolytes might need to be replenished along with any fluids lost during the period of exercise.

  1. WARM BATH

My colleague and I have both previously written articles on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, aka DOMS. You can read those articles here and here. One great tip to help alleviate some of that pain post-run is taking a warm bath to help with pain relief and get your blood flow going to promote tissue healing and repair.

 

 

 

If you’re looking for some tune up treatment prior to your race or if you injure yourself while running, our excellent practitioners at Lawrence Park Health Clinic would love to help you move better and feel better and get you to your next race!

 

If you’re looking for a race this summer, here is a great link for runs occurring in and near Toronto: http://www.runguides.com/toronto/runs

 

 

Author: Dr. Allie Dennis, B.Sc. Kin (Hons.), D.C., Acu, CSEP-CPT, SFMA

Toronto Chiropractor | Acupuncture Provider | Personal Trainer | SFMA Practitioner

 

RESOURCES

Convertino VA Armstrong LE Coyle EF Mack GW Sawka MN Senay LC Jr Sherman WM . American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1996; 28(1): i-vii.

 

Shirreffs SM, Armstrong LE, Cheuvront SN. Fluid and electrolyte needs for preparation and recovery from training and competition. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2004; 22(1): 57-63.

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