In part 2 of a 3 part series, Roper St. Francis podiatrist Dr. Jeff Armstrong provides recommendations for Bridge Run prep the week before the race.
Give yourself a pat on the back! After weeks of training for the Cooper River Bridge Run, you’re in the home stretch. I hope you feel good! But keep in mind that this final week can make the difference between a successful race and an agonizing experience.
This is not the week to make amends for any missed runs during your training schedule. And let’s face it, almost all of us have missed a few miles in our best-laid plans. That’s OK. Just realize that at this point you cannot help your performance, but you could hurt it. Knowing what to do and not to do in the final week before you run significantly affects your race.
Here are my recommendations:
- Do not add additional miles or intensity to your training, keep it light. Early in the week, run short distances at your race-pace. Taper remaining workouts so that you’re doing less until two days before race day. You must rest to avoid heading into the race injured or sore.
- Get plenty of sleep during the week and before the race. Avoid late nights and energy-draining activities.
- It is also very important to stay hydrated and well fed. Keep your meals to easily digested high-energy foods (a mix of lean proteins and whole grain carbs, plus veggies and fruit) and drink plenty of water.
- You should try out your pre-race eating and drinking plan a couple of weeks prior to race day to make sure it agrees with your stomach.
On the day before the race, take a day off from training. If you must do something, then stretch your legs on a relaxing walk for 20-30 minutes. Use the day to rest and ensure that you are mentally and physically prepared for the challenge. Hydration is so important the day before the race. Drink about a cup of water each hour during the day. You may substitute some of the water with fruit juice or sports drinks. Consider taking a short nap the day before and also go to bed early. Plenty of rest will help keep your energy from diminishing during the run. For breakfast and lunch, you should eat normally. Eat a light dinner, of carbohydrates and lean proteins. Avoid foods that are high in fat or fiber that may be difficult to digest.
Then most importantly, plan to have fun. Stay focused on your goals during your run, not on what others are doing. But also enjoy the energy of the crowd. You can go run the bridge any day by yourself, but doing it with thousands and thousands of others makes it a special event. Congrats, you’ve got this!