Friday, July 9, 2010

Preparing for Race day..

It's summertime and the calendars are full of athletic events – 5k, 10k, Triathlon and more.

Even those who train regularly must pay more close attention to their body's warning signs in excessive heat, and should be certain that they train adequately to prepare their body for running in hotter weather.

Experts recommend building up your body's tolerance for hot weather running by spending a few weeks ahead of your race running shorter distances and gradually building up to the mileage you will need to run your race. They advise running in the morning or evening, when the humidity is at lower levels – and always pay attention to smog alerts, as pollution can make training more difficult.

Prior to any run, be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Hydrate within an hour of your workout, then take another drink every 20 minutes while you run. Sports drinks and protein drinks can help replenish electrolytes lost during a run, but whatever you choose, be sure to drink plenty after your run as well to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

As with any exercise, be sure to stretch before (and after) you run to allow your muscles to prepare for the stress of the run and help you avoid injury. We're all familiar with hamstring and calf stretches, but it's important to stretch the upper-body as well.

Wear comfortable, lightweight clothing for your run, preferably in light colors. A tank top or shirt made specifically for running in the heat is more desirable than a t-shirt, which can trap perspiration. And be sure to always wear socks made of synthetic fibers to wick away moisture, helping you to avoid blisters and athlete's foot. If you purchase new running shoes, break them in over several short runs to avoid injury – including blisters – during your race.

Don't wear a hat. As most of your body's heat is lost through the top of your head, covering your head will result in trapping the heat and making you more uncomfortable. Do pour water over your head to cool down, if necessary.

Wear sunscreen for your race, and be aware of areas that may normally be covered by a t-shirt if you have switched to a tank top or singlet, but be aware that some sunscreens can actually slow down perspiration and increase your core body temperature.

Use common sense when running in hotter temperatures. Don't push yourself to be as fast or go as far as you usually do. Symptoms of heat disease include an intense headache, nausea, disorientation or confusion, sudden muscle weakness, sudden cessation of sweating, feeling chilled or faint, abnormally rapid breathing and unusual heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop, find shade or air conditioning and call for help.

Remember, your race should be an enjoyable experience. Preparing ahead of time will make it more fun and help you avoid injury.

Happy running!

For anyone who would like to run in a fun 5k for a great cause in Canton,Ga. check out the race on July 24th at Boling park..some of our bootcampers will be in this one..Etowah River Run Road & Trail 5K Benefiting Anna Crawford Children's Center
Date: Saturday, July 24, 2010
Time: 8:00am - 6:30pm
Location: Boling Park-Cherokee High School- 930 Marietta Hwy, Canton GA 30114