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Racing Season Preparation Guide

It’s finally starting to feel like spring here in Minnesota, which means the roads around town are starting to see quite a bit more action (and no, I’m not talking about all the potholes). Whether you’re gearing up for a 5K, half or full marathon, or obstacle-course race (OCR), this post will provide some tips on what you can do today to make this your best racing season yet.


HAVE A PLAN

If you haven’t done so already, sit down with your calendar and write down the dates of your upcoming races, and start to schedule your training mileage. Give or take a few weeks depending on your starting level of fitness, the general rule of thumb is to give yourself 16 weeks to specifically train for a marathon, or 10 weeks for a half-marathon. Next, write down your training times in your planner, blocking out more time for long runs and important workouts, and treat these times like an appointment so you’ll be less likely to miss one. However, don’t feel pressured to stick EXACTLY to the plan. If you’re sick or fatigued, listen to your body, and adjust mileage and/or rest days as needed.

Related: “It’s Easy, Just Fall”: My Experience at the Pose Running Clinic


EASE INTO THINGS

Running can cause a lot of repetitive stress on the body, particularly the joints and tendons of the legs. If your training recently hasn’t involved logging lots of miles on pavement, take a few weeks to ease back into running outdoors. Taking rest days and crosstraining will give your ligaments, tendons, and joints time to heal between runs, keeping your body feeling healthy and ready to tackle hard workouts as your race approaches.

Related: The Importance of Recovery


MIX IT UP

While this tip especially applies to those of you training for obstacle course races, runners should still pay attention, since crosstraining can help prevent injuries and fight training boredom. If you are taking on an OCR this summer, you’re almost guaranteed to be tested with odd object carrying, climbing, and grip strength tasks. Pull-ups, rope climbs, and farmers carries (and any other form of carries) should be included and prioritized in your training to allow you to tackle the obstacles you’ll face. Luckily, we do all these at the gym, so be on the lookout for the workouts that involve these elements. If you are looking to solely stick to running, add in hill workouts, mile repeats, and sprint work to more fully develop your engine and keep training interesting.


FUEL PROPERLY

You may have heard this already, but you can’t out-train a poor diet, so nutrition needs to be a part of your plan when prepping for a race. First and foremost, eat enough to make sure you’re recovering from taxing workouts like your long-runs and sprint work. That being said, instead of loading up on sweets to meet this need, look to anti-inflammatory foods like greens, nuts, and cherries to reduce the amount of inflammation your body will experience during training. Pay attention to, and even keep a log of, what foods you ate before a hard workout and how you felt during the workout. Then, prioritize the foods that made you feel best during your workouts, especially in the days leading up to your race.


While these tips are certainly not all you’ll need to get ready for your next road race or OCR, these will provide a starting point as you begin to work towards your goals this season. If you’re interested in learning more about how CrossFit can help get you ready for your next race, come in to chat with any of the coaches, or drop us a line at info@crossfitslipstream.com.

–Jay Alexander

Coach/Trainer

jay@crossfitslipstream.com