Last Minute Tips for Running a 10k

Today I was on Fox Morning News Extra to give viewers information on this weekend’s Rodeo Run 10k in Houston!

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Here are my top tips for last minute 10k prep:

-Don’t wear new shoes. I didn’t get a chance to talk about the shoe I was holding…but shoes are really important. It’s too late to go buy new shoes for this weekend, but if you have knee problems or shin splints about after the race it’s most likely because you are wearing the wrong shoes. Go to Luke’s Locker and get fitted for the right kind for your foot type.

Stay hydrated the few days before and leading up to the race. But, don’t go crazy drinking too much water the morning of the race. Stick to water unless it’s pretty warm and/or you will be sweating a lot, then mix in some Gatorade or electrolyte fluid. This weekend’s race should be cool in the 40’s.

Don’t try to get in a last minute workout or go out and run crazy fast today or tomorrow hoping to improve your race time. You will only make yourself sore and put yourself at risk for injury. If you want to improve your 5k or 10k time..you need to start at least a month ahead of time. You will not get any faster the last week of the race. Lay off heavy weight training the day before the race and maybe 2 days before if you aren’t used to it.

Eat good the few days before. This means healthy, “clean” foods and limit sugar, fiber and sodium the night before and morning of the race to avoid an upset stomach. Just eat what you normally do, as long as it’s healthy. I normally have a glass of wine with dinner…so I still do, even the night before a big race. The morning of the race, eat something easy to digest like low-fiber cereal or a banana. You don’t need crazy amounts of carbs the night before or energy gels during the race until you start running races that last you around 1.5 hours.

Wear layers if it’s cold. This weekend it will be pretty cool, but after the first mile or so you will warm up. I usually wear a light jacket or thin long-sleeve top over my tank and then take it off and tie it around my waist if I have to. Or…I just wear it during my warmup before the race and then either do the bag-check or have a friend hold it for me.

Warmup first. The only time I don’t warmup is for marathons. For a 5k or 10k you definitely want to get your legs warm first. Walk or jog (or combo) for about 10-15min and then do some light stretches AFTER you warmup.

Get there early. This was always a hard one for me because I want to get as much sleep as possible! But, if you wait till the last minute you won’t have time to warmup or use the bathroom and it’s always a good idea to have that last minute potty break! Porta-potties are gross but you can always pack a mini hand sanitizer gel in your back pocket.

Pace yourself. Don’t haul a** at the front just because some guy looks like he’s going to beat you. Half of those speedsters will end up slowing down and you can pass them later. Trust me. Go slower at the beginning and gradually pick up your pace each mile. Then, if you’ve got energy left to burn…kick it up a notch the last mile and then really sprint the last 100meters if you’ve still got some juice!

 

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