21 June 2011 Last Updated on 06 March 2012
Whether you’re running in the Sidewinder 5K in July or are training for the strenuous Stairway to Heaven 15K in August, you’ll need to make sure you have the right shoes. Lucky for you, we’re trail running shoe experts in San Diego, and we’re also armed with tons of race day tips:
- Think in minutes, rather than in miles. One mistake that new runners often make is thinking in increments of miles, while thinking in minutes is more beneficial.
- Don’t tense up! When running, check to make sure your shoulders aren’t hunched near your ears and your jaw and fists aren’t clenched. Shake out your hands and arms periodically.
- Speaking of your hands, run with your thumbs resting on your fingers as if you are holding an egg in each palm.
- If you find yourself slipping mentally, pick up speed for a minute or two and then return to your former pace. That’s usually all it takes to avoid a funk.
- On race day, your pace will feel easier than normal due to adrenaline. Make a conscious effort to hold back during the early miles.
- Run through exasperation, but not through pain. As much as you want to finish the race, there will be other races. It’s not worth it to injure yourself.
- It goes without saying, but invest in good running shoes. Visit us for custom fit sneakers.
- Double-knot your shoe laces. Sure, it may be annoying to untie them (especially if they get wet) but stopping mid-race to tie your shoe is more annoying!
- If you must exercise pre-race, jog for 15 minutes at most. Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and lower back and you are good to go.
- Passing competitors not only gives you a list, but it also gives you a surge of adrenaline.
- Pace yourself. If you run too fast in the beginning, you’ll get into oxygen debt!
- Lastly, if your race didn’t go as planned, don’t worry about it for too long. Let yourself stew for an hour and then move on.
Dr. Runco is a U.S. Navy and Gulf War Veteran. He began private practice in 2000 primarily treating and fixing running injuries. He has been a professor of Anatomy, Physiology, and Biomechanics at various colleges and continues to teach continuing education in the fields of rehabilitation, custom orthotics and athletic taping. He is also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has completed over 15 Marathons in 15 states and has run 11 50 mile Ultramarathons.