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3 Tips to Maximize Your Training for Race Day

Seasoned athletes and new runners alike can agree that preparing for a race can feel like a daunting task. While no race will ever be an easy feat, the right mental and physical prep can help you feel more confident when stepping up to the start line! 

Whether you’re working towards a new PB or just looking to cross a 5k race off your bucket list, maximizing training will not only increase overall cardiovascular and muscular strength, but also prevent injury and burnout. Now that you’ve signed up for the race, it’s time to dial in your training, nutrition, and recovery to equip yourself for race day. Here’s how you can get started: 

1. Build a Training Plan

Race day is all about progress, not perfection. While daily runs will certainly improve cardiovascular health and support running training, creating a training plan will help optimize your training for a specific goal in mind. A training plan should be tailored to your individual needs and goals, and should include a variety of different types of runs, such as endurance runs, speed work, and hill repeats. Aim for 3-4 training runs per week.

Try not to make your program complicated – simple is best. You can find various training plans online or work with one of our certified Personal Trainers to get started. A key tip when creating your training plan is to not overdo it. It’s essential to increase your training gradually, allowing your body to adapt to your new routine. Remember, training for a race is about progress, so be patient and enjoy the journey!

2. Compliment your cardio with cross-training

While cardio will be the basis of any race training plan, consider complimenting weekly runs with cross-training. Not only does it help to prevent injury and burnout, it also helps to even out weaknesses in the body and strengthen muscles that are often missed from running – like the back, core, and arms. 

Running is a high-impact sport that puts a lot of stress on the joints, especially the knees. By incorporating cross-training exercises into your routine, you can work on strengthening the muscles around your joints and reducing the risk of injury. Cross-training exercises such as weightlifting, cycling, and HIIT training can help build strength and stability while improving overall running performance.

Working with a Personal Trainer can also help identify goals and create a customized workout routine to suit the needs of your training plan, especially if you’re looking for an extra boost or feeling uncertain about where to start.

3. Rest & recover

No training plan is complete without a few rest days. While it may be tempting to keep the training momentum going with daily runs, exhausted muscles need adequate rest to become bigger and stronger. With intense training comes a greater chance of injury and burnout. For runners, it’s typically recommended to incorporate 1-2 rest days per week into a training routine.

Keep in mind that recovery doesn’t mean ‘not doing anything.’ Active recovery, like our Recover + Reboot yoga classes or our Pilates class, helps keep muscles loose and flush lactic acid buildup from sore muscles. Incorporating high-tech recovery tools like our Normatec air compression boots, Hydromassage, and hot/cold therapy can speed up the recovery process and leave you feeling ready for your next run! 

Support your Race Training with a Fitness World Membership

As the Official Fitness Club of the RunVan FirstHalf Marathon, presented by BlueShore Financial, Fitness World is helping runners get ‘race day ready’ with cross-training equipment, Personal Training services, and recovery tools, like the Normatec 2.0 and hot/cold therapy. Click here for more info on memberships and locations.