Most runs happen on a weekend and i think it’s important to start prepping at the beginning of the week. In order to make sure you have the nutrients you need, in order to make sure you’re at your fittest and in order to make sure you haven’t overdone it – you need the full week to plan your diet, exercise routine and rest days. Some might say you shouldn’t do anything different in the run up to your run (haaa i know that sentence should be structured differently but i like ‘run up to your run’) but i disagree. I try to eat clean all week and have my treats at the weekend but if i’m running on a Sunday the last thing i want to be doing is bingeing on chocolate and wine on the Saturday night. For me then i restructure my lifestyle for the week running up to an event.
Let’s say i’m running on Sunday, i make sure i’m doing my exercise days Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I get them out of the way at the beginning of the week so i have 3 days to rest and recuperate before the event. I met someone the other day who told me she liked to stretch her legs and test herself the day before an event but that to me is a big no no. You need to at least have a full day resting the day before an event. When i say resting i mean no gym, runs or fitness classes. I don’t mean sit on your arse watching TV and doing sweet FA. You can still go about a normal day and even go for a walk, i just believe you shouldn’t overexert yourself doing any intense exercise. I like a few days of rest before my event so i get my exercise out the way at the beginning of the week, i also like to do consecutive sessions so i’m forcing myself to work harder if that makes sense.
Now in the run up to my event i know i have to give up my weekend treats because feeling bloated and sluggish on the day of a run is not good. It hinders performance and you need all the energy you can get. I don’t force myself to miss out however, mainly because my sweet tooth is very overpowering at the moment, i simple move my treat days to the start of the week. This coincides with my days at the gym anyway so i don’t feel as guilty. I also don’t binge as much as i would because when i’m working out i don’t normally like to eat lots of shit. Now for rest of the week, my rest days, i try to eat clean(er) and stick to my normal diet. Two days before my run i go a little heavier on the carbs because it’s extra energy you need for your run… and not related at all to the fact carbs are my everything. I make sure i eat my dinner quite early the night before a run and it’s a lighter portion so my food has plenty of time to digest. I then have a normal breakfast i know i can digest easily on the morning of the run. You should always eat something familiar in the lead up to your run because now is not the time to start playing with your diet. I bloat really easily and i can also easily get stitch when running so i am very careful with my diet.
In terms of my run day routine then i start the day with breakfast the second i wake up. I want as long as possible to digest my food before the race – i try to make sure i eat a good 3 hours before the event. I let my stomach settle for a good half hour after food also not doing anything too strenuous. Once i”ve eaten i make sure i have a good stretch to get my muscles limbered up. I then get ready and start travelling to the event.
I don’t do too much more than i need to on the race day morning. My typical everyday morning routine involves me doing everything on the day, i’m an early bird who likes to have a busy morning. However in the lead up to a run i like to prepare everything the night before. I don’t need any extra stress or things going wrong on race day so i take away all the pressure and do things the night before. The day before i make sure i have my pins ready, i have my number sorted, i know where i’m going, i have cash out and i have planned my gym gear. You should always make sure the outfit you are wearing on run day is something you have trained in before – you need to be comfortable so you shouldn’t stray away from your usual routine in terms of food and attire.
And that is pretty much it. My run day routine is simple and straightforward, i do my workouts at the start of the week leaving a few days to rest and i make sure i’m not bloated in the lead up to the event. I hope you found these tips useful, i’m really enjoying my fitness posts at the moment so i’m sure there’ll be more soon.