The distance that lies ahead is variable – 4, 6.2 or 13.1 miles – but participants in Saturdays Fort4Fitness events have one number in common.
Five – the number of days until the races.
While Saturday might be the focus, what a runner does in the days leading up can have an effect on performance.
Heres what you can do as the countdown winds down:
Monday. Begin watching the weather. While the forecast in Indiana is likely to change – at any time – knowing the predicted stats for race day can be helpful. Mark Strasser, who is registered for the half marathon, uses the forecast to plan his race-day outfit so he can set it out in advance. The three-time Ironman and manager at Human Motor Works, 6374 W. Jefferson Blvd., advises not to wear anything new on race day – not even the race shirt.
Tuesday. Stick to your routine. Just as you dont wear new clothes on race day, dont try anything new in terms of training, hydration, nutrition and sleep the week of the race, says Eric Ade, general manager of Three Rivers Running Co.
If you stick to the routine, your body will know what to do, says Ade, who has placed in the top three in the half marathon for four of the five years. He adds that the routine can also help to calm the pre-race jitters.
Wednesday. Put an added focus on nutrition and hydration.
One key message: Do not wait till the day before to eat well and hydrate, says Judy Tillapaugh, IPFW wellness/fitness coordinator. What matters are the day-by-day choices leading up to event day so as to help the body be as healthy and ready as possible.
She says not to worry about carb-loading – a nutrition strategy best for marathon or ultra marathon runners. Rather, runners should eat three meals and two to three snacks daily, emphasizing lean protein, complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and sweet potatoes, and colorful fruits and vegetables.
Thursday. While the intensity of workouts decreases before a race, its still good to log a few miles. Strasser says he likes to shake out the legs with an easy run, maybe 3 miles, or an hour-long swim or bike ride.
Friday. Pick up race packet, which will include bib, shirts and other goodies. All participants must pick up the information between 1 and 9 p.m. during the festival expo at Parkview Field.
Saturday. Race day!