In partnership with USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance.
Apologies if the Taylor Swift song is stuck in your head… and you’re welcome for the Taylor Swift song being stuck in your head. It can be both.
Today, we are talking about the importance of a shakeout run the day before a race—typically a 2-3 mile comfortably paced run. Note that there is a shakeout run that has benefits ON race day, but we’ll save that for another post. You might be asking yourself: “how beneficial can a run the day before a race REALLY be after months of training?” That’s a great question, let’s take a look:
Yes, your legs still work.
If you are ready to tackle the start line the following day, then hopefully you survived the taper process. I know it can be painful, but you did it and you are here. A short 20-minute run the day before can help improve blood flow to the muscles and help loosen up the legs for race day. This short, comfortable run can also kick-start your neuromuscular system—the combination of the nervous system and muscles, working together to permit movement. And we want the communication from your brain to your muscles ready to go, and yes, you will have proof that your legs still work.
Trust the process
The training cycle can play mind tricks on you. One day you feel ready to PR, and the next week your legs are stone and can’t move. It’s ok to have a bit of anxiety about race day. You have put in months of work and it comes down to a single day—just typing that makes me nervous. Going for a run the day before can calm your nerves and allow you to center yourself and get mentally prepared for the following day.
Get familiar with the city (and be social).
If you are in a new city, it’s a great way to see some of the sights, or find out what a section of the course is going to be like. Maybe it’s the first 2 miles, or mile 17 of the course. Most races in major cities coordinate with a local running store, or host their own shakeout run the day before, typically 2-3 miles. Running in a group can make you feel welcome, and often times it’s a great way to get some tips from runners who are familiar with the course.
Join #WeRunSocial for a shakeout run before CIM
We practice what we preach. #WeRunSocial is teaming up with the Sacramento Running Association and taking part in their hosted shakeout run this weekend for the California International Marathon. Join us for some miles, smiles, and selfies.
When: Saturday, Dec. 3 at 8:30am
Where: Sacramento Convention Center
RSVP: Facebook event here
Post-Run Coffee with WRS, hosted by @PavementRunner, @FueledbyFrosting, and @RunningForCarbs: Location TBD, walking distance from where we start/finish and the expo. We’ll make an announcement before the start of the run.
Get off your feet (and earn a gift card)
Mazda will be at the CIM all weekend long. They’ll be the lead pace car (featuring the 2017 MX-5 Miata), and have a couple of display cars at the expo (2016 CX-5 GT AWD and 2016 CX-9 GT AWD) as well as hosting more fun events at the Mazda Lounge.
They’ll also have a Ride & Drive event going on outside the expo where you can drive one of six vehicles and earn a Starbucks gift card. Looking for a great way to get off your feet for a few minutes and then go warm-up with tasty beverage? Yes please.
Do you run the day before a race?