It's almost here! Tomorrow, 12 noon-ish, we are NOLA Bound! Woohoo! Tapering is the hardest part of training for me. While I have tried to embrace the rest period, I've gone nuts about it as well. I start telling myself I am losing all my hard work and there's no way I will finish 13.1 miles. Then I snap back in reality, focus on enjoying the rest time, and tell myself everything else will fall into place. You know, It wouldn't be such a big deal if I didn't set such high standards for myself. I feel like if I don't break my previous time, I will have failed. Don't be like that. Please. It's part of my New Years Resolution: Have FUN with running and remember why I LOVE it! Okay, done with my soap box. :-)
Tapering is one of the most important parts of training for a race. Like I said before, the degree and duration of tapering depends on the individual. However, here are a few tips everyone should remember to do before a race.
- Hydrate! Remember to drink plenty of water the weeks leading up to the race (well, you should be drinking plenty of water anyway). It takes a few days for the water to reach the cellular level of the cells. It's important to hydrate days leading up to an event so you don't cramp on race day. Remember if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
- Carbs carbs carbs! Have a nice carb loaded dinner a couple nights before the race. When you get to mile 9-10 those carbs will kick in and give you that extra energy you need to keep on! Remember our bodies are an energy first system, meaning it doesn't filter out carbs, protein, and fat when you are in a deficit. Our bodies do not store carbohydrates in our systems for a later time. Eat carbs the night to two nights before so when it comes race day, your body will be ready to use the energy from carbs! Carbs are the main energy source for our bodies because it is easier to break down than fat and protein.
- Stay positive! There is nothing you can do at this point to get better or improve at all. All your training will pay off! Rest and enjoy the time. It will only make you stronger. You want your muscles and lungs to be fresh for race day!
- Minimum walking the day before. Rest those feet! No need to expend energy that will be needed.
- Have FUN while running! It's race day and enjoy the scenery, crowd, and all your hard work. This is the day you've been working for, so enjoy it!
- Push yourself. Everyone always runs a little faster on race day because of the the excitement and adrenaline flowing. Push yourself a little harder at every mile and challenge yourself. You're stronger than you think.
- Post race meal is key, and it's my favorite part of racing :-). Make sure you get a balance of protein and carbs to refuel. You need the protein to help repair the muscles that were broken down while enduring 13 miles, and the carbs will help restore the energy lost. Also, enjoy a nice cold beer for kicks. It's absolutely AMAZING after a long race. I promise.
Training Exercise/Tips: Continue to stretch. Stretching is so important to help break up any tightness in your muscles, and helps keep that blood flowing throughout the body. If you stretch days before a race, it will decrease the chance of you becoming tight afterwards. That's not to say you won't be sore after a race, just a little less. Stretch after the race! You'll be sore afterwards because your body will have been pushed past a new limit that it is not adapted to.
Training Songs: I have almost completed my playlist. I've gotten a little behind since being busy with work and sleep. Here's a little more of a sampler from my playlist! Enjoy!
1. Welcome To My Party- Rusted Root (Thanks Ross, love this song!)
2. Three More Days- Ray LaMontange
3. My Body- Young the Giant
4. Maps- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
5. Run- Vampire Weekend
6. It's A New Day- Will.I.Am
7. Love Today- Mika
8. Fat Bottom Girls- Queen
9. Cornbread- DMB
10. About Mr. Brown- O.A.R.
Training Laganappie: As I promised I was going to attempt to make a King Cake and Gumbo. First, the gumbo was an epic fail. Blah. BUT my King Cake turned out amazing. I should probably be shamefully embarrassed that I ate 3/4 of the cake, but I'm not. Carbs for the race, right?! It's totally appropriate for the event, Mardi Gras. :-)
Yes, I made this from scratch! I'm totally impressed with myself :-)
I also stumbled across a peanut butter hot chocolate recipe. Yes, PEANUT BUTTER. Since I am disgustingly obsessed with peanut butter I, of course, had to make this delicious drink! I have to say, it was better than I could have ever imagined!
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate! AMAZING!
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist