Top Pre and Post Race Tips
Beach2Beach Charity Fun Run & Festival
Mounties Care Integrative Health Clinic
Pre-Race Power Ups by Ray Chen, Integrative Physio:
- Take it easy the day before the race. Ideally, you want to keep your body moving with some light movement.
- Supercharge your sleep game with 7-8 hours of rest the night before the big day.
- Hydration is your secret weapon! Aim to drink 2-3L of water the day before and sip some on race morning.
- Combat pre-race jitters with zen-like focus. Try deep breathing or a quick guided meditation to save your energy for the main event.
- Warm-up like a champ! Skip the static stretches and embrace active moves like squats, lunges, brisk walks, and jogging on the spot.
Post Recovery Hacks:
- Keep the momentum going! Walk vigorously for 10 minutes after crossing that finish line to keep that blood flowing.
- Stretch it out! After your cool-down walk, show your major muscle groups some love with static stretches for a speedy recovery.
- Replenish your body! Within 30 minutes of finishing, grab a refreshing drink like coconut water, chocolate milk, or a protein shake.
- Power up your shower! Embrace the contrast of warm and cold water for a supercharged post-race revitalization and finish on cold!
- Keep that body in motion, even after the race. Staying active will help you bounce back like a champ.
Good luck out there and have a blast! You're going to crush it like the superhero you are!
Calming the pre-race jitters and mental preparation before a race by Annie Braendle, Health Coach:
As our Integrative Physio Ray has mentioned, sometimes the pre-race jitters can get the better of you. When you feel your nerves, a short pre-race visualisation that focuses on calming the mind, building confidence, and mentally preparing for the upcoming challenge can be a great tool to get ready. To get started:
- Find a chill spot to sit or lie down, shut those eyes, and take deep breaths. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Imagine yourself at the starting line, feeling pumped and positive.
- Visualize the race course in your mind. See yourself running with ease, feeling light and strong with every step you take. Picture yourself maintaining a steady and comfortable pace, effortlessly moving forward.
- With each breath, affirm to yourself, "I am strong. I am capable. I’ve got this." Repeat these affirmations with conviction, knowing that you have prepared well for this moment.
- As you continue to breathe deeply, focus on the sound of your breath and the rhythm of your heartbeat. Let go of any distractions, you're in the zone!
- Visualise yourself crossing the finish line with a smile on your face, a feeling of accomplishment, and a sense of pride in your heart.
- As you wrap up, breathe a little more and come back to the present. Open those eyes and feel the power within you. You're prepped, you're ready, go crush it!
If you still have a few weeks to your race, here are our top 10 tips to be as calm and ready as possible on race day:
1. Preparation is Key: You've done the hustle, and you're prepped like a pro! Confidence boost, activated.
2. Create a Pre-Race Routine: Time to chillax! From calming tunes to a little meditation or deep breathing, find your inner calm!
3. Visualise Success Regularly: Picture yourself feeling confident, strong, and crossing the finish line with a smile.
4. Break Down the Race: Concentrate on running well in each segment, rather than being overwhelmed by the overall distance. You got this, one step at a time!
5. Positive Self-Talk: You're a powerhouse! Remind yourself of your capabilities and achievements with phrases like "I am strong" or "I can do this."
6. Talk to Others: Nervous? No worries! Share the jitters with your running buddies. Talking it out makes nerves go "Poof!"
7. Arrive Early: Reach the race venue with plenty of time to spare. This will give you ample time to settle in, familiarise yourself with the surroundings and avoid any last-minute rushes.
8. Remember Past Successes: Reflect on previous races or challenges you've overcome. Remind yourself of your ability to handle nerves and perform well under pressure.
9. Embrace the Nerves: Acknowledge that some nerves are natural and can actually enhance performance. Redirect that energy into positive excitement.
10. Smile and Laugh: Ha-ha-ha, laughter time! Giggle with friends or catch a funny video - those endorphins will lift you up!
So, remember, a little pre-race nerves are totally normal and can supercharge your focus! Embrace the challenge, trust your training, and have a blast out there! You're an epic racer, and you've got this in the bag!
Naturopath Tips on how to stay healthy for the upcoming event & increase performance by Annie Stewart, Health Coach:
Prioritise your sleep - While you sleep, your body gets to work producing a bunch of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules to promote healing and recovery. Decreased sleep has been linked to inhibited ability in athletes, decreased accuracy, quicker exhaustion, higher injury risk and slower reaction times and mental acuity.
Supplements to Support Sleep:
- Magnesium as glycinate - calms the nervous system, improves deep restful sleep, replenishes muscles.
- Apigenin - the key component found in chamomile tea. Binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain that can trigger muscle relaxation and sedation. 1 cup each night can do wonders for your sleep
- L-theanine - An amino acid that also promotes relaxation in the brain, reducing anxiety and promotes deep restful sleep. 100-200mg before sleep. Combines well with Mag Glycinate.
Prioritise your hydration - Dehydration can reduce exercise endurance by nearly 50%. Dehydration leads to a reduction in blood volume (therefore oxygen carrying ability), decreased skin blood flow, decrease sweat rate leading to increased core temperature and an increase in rate of muscle glycogen usage - not ideal when you’re running a race!!
FYI Drinking water is not necessarily hydrating. What determines our hydration is actually the mineral content in our water. If you're someone who also likes to skull their water at the end of the day, or after a training session then this is also not ideal. The rate at which we consume water determines the rate at which we excrete it. Dumping large amounts of unmineralized water into our system will not improve your hydration. Adding minerals or electrolytes to your drink bottle and sipping throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated.
Supplements for Hydration:
- Get yourself a good electrolyte supplement
- Add a large pinch of Celtic sea salt to your 2L drink bottle and sip throughout the day. Celtic sea salt has over 20 different minerals.
- Include lemon, cucumber and mint with your celtic sea salt water for something more palatable.
- Sip don't skull!
Prioritise Nutrition + Gut Health:
You are what you eat, breakdown and absorb. Our gut health has many flow on effects in our overall health. Our gut determines our nutrient status due to its ability to absorb essential nutrients for our metabolism and energy. In addition to energy production, the gut microbiome is also thought to have significant impact on skeletal muscle turnover and maintenance, an important factor in all sports. Improving overall digestive ability and taking care of the microbes living inside you may reduce your risk for "runners gut", improve overall metabolism and energy production and optimise your detoxification processes (important to metabolise lactic acid and other wastes).
- Variety of fruits and vegetables - dark leaf greens, beetroots, potato's, pumpkins, zucchini
- High protein - grassfed meat, organic chicken, eggs, yoghurt
- Healthy fats - avocado, olive oil, coconut oil (MCT oil), flaxseed oil
- Low in refined sugars, gluten (if reactive), processed foods
- Fermented foods - only recommended in healthy functioning guts. If you already have some dysbiosis, you may react poorly to fermented foods
Supplements for Performance:
While I don't recommend trying anything new on race day, there are a few supplements that can support you leading up to and on the race day itself.
- L-theanine - Not only just good for sleep, this amino acid can also take the edge off your race day nerves. If you’re an athlete who also likes to have caffeine or stimulants before a race, try incorporating 100-200mg of L-theanine into your black coffee / pre-workout. L-theanine promotes a sense of calm focus, improved cognition and will prevent the adrenaline dump that can come from caffeine and nervous energy.
- Glutamine - Do you suffer from runners gut? 5-10g of glutamine 2hrs before an event has been shown to decrease intestinal permeability significantly. This can help prevent the need for a mid-race unload. Pair this with a probiotic like Lactobacillus plantarum for best results.
- Beetroot Juice - Yes, good old beetroot juice has been used for many years in athletic performance. Beets are high in NITRATES, which are metabolised in our blood to NITRIC OXIDE. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning you can increase your body's ability to carry MORE blood (oxygen) to MORE muscles. Supplementation has been found to have a positive impact on lowering oxygen consumption and time to exhaustion. Go harder for longer with less O2. It also improves heat loss through the skin aiding temperature regulation and reduces recovery time. Incorporate beetroot juice daily 7-14 days out from the event for best results.