The day before [and after] a race

Yesterday I did a 10 mile race. I read running magazines and articles every month on how to optimize training, tapering and eating for the best performance. Because I read about so many different approaches to take in order to race best, I was able to work out a training schedule that worked for me taking into consideration to demands of my job, my eating preference and the time I had to train.

1. Training:

I ran everyday but did “workouts” three times a week of different variety. One day a week my running was a quarter mile jog to the gym where I cross trained. One run was a LSD [long, slow distance] and the others were 45 minute jogs of a medium pace, probably a zone 3 out of 5 effort. My daily workouts would take about 1.5 hours including warm-up, cool-down and commute. Two days a week I did mile repeats of one mile at about 7:30 pace and one mile at 7:00 pace for a total of six miles. One day a week I did ten minutes at 7:30 pace, ten minutes at 7:00 pace and ten minutes at 6:40 pace followed by a half hour of easy biking while I read a book. My long run varied between 8 and 16 miles.

run recovery1

2. Job/Life Stress:

I am on my feet at my job all day so I figured I did not need to do more than one long run per week. I did that run on my day off.  I wake up between 6:30 and 7:00 most days and try to be in bed by 10:30 or 11:00. I run in the mornings before work and after work I spend a lot of time with my feet up reading and writing. I did not “taper” in a traditional sense for this race because I still had to work my job. The only thing I changed was I did not do a long run this past week.


3. Nutrition:

It’s not secret I follow a plant-based approach. I would say I follow a higher-carb diet but it’s all relative. I eat foods with flavor. I eat breads, pasta, rice, beans, tofu, chocolate and most things as long as they don’t have a mother or a central nervous system. I did not take gels on my long runs nor did I use them during a race. I also did not bring water. The night before the race I actually thought about eating just rice and sweet potatoes. I considered this not because of the carb heavy load, but because I did not want my gut to feel weird if I had too many flavors and spices. I actually decided not to do this. I decided to keep things the same. To eat the way I normally eat because that is what has worked through my training. By eating plain foods I would have been changing things which is very advised against in every fitness article I have read. It’s most important to keep things the same in the lead up to a race because that is what the body is used to.

kettle potatoes wafflestempeh

The Day After [Today]

My foot is really sore but I feel pretty recovered. I napped and rested yesterday after the race. I refueled with a lot of potatoes, hummus and nuts [it’s what I was craving] and watched old sitcoms. Because there is lingering soreness in my foot and I have another race in two weeks, I have decided to cross-train all week to maintain fitness but go lower impact for my foot. I hope this works and I have a good half marathon. If it doesn’t though, I am VERY HAPPY with my race results from yesterday so if that is my peak I am fine with that.


How do you train for your fitness events? Hiking? Biking?

Do you change anything leading up to the event just to be safe?



    • That sounds like something I could incorporate in the future. If I practice with it in my lead up it would be a great benefit. I didn’t want to do anything new in the days before the race to not freak my body out or massage it “wrong” and cause a problem

      • Yeah, that is a good plan! I typically foam roll at least once a week. If you ever want to look at it seriously, check out triggerpoint. They have videos. There is no real wrong way to do it, as long as you stick to meaty parts, muscles, and stay away from your bones. I do full body, but even just getting your calves helps greatly.

  1. I am following a training plan for my upcoming half (in October) and I am running 4-5 times a week with cross training the other two, and occasionally a rest day. I’m on my feet all day too, so that helps. Now that my Sunday long runs are getting longer (which I have a post to come tomorrow! HA) I am paying more attention to ensuring those go smooth. Awesome job with your race!

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