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Go Ask Mom

Duke Medicine: Planning ahead will prepare you for race day

Posted April 8, 2013

With so much time and effort invested in your training, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure your race day goes smooth as well. We’ve got you covered with some essential DOs and DON’Ts from Lacy Jennings, a physical therapist with Duke Sports Medicine.

DO hydrate your body days before the race. Drinking water is important whenever you are running regularly, but it’s even more crucial in the days leading up to the race.

“You want your body to be well hydrated when you start,” explains Jennings. It’s critical for running performance and to avoid dehydration, which can cause fatigue, cramping, and decreased concentration. You’ll know you’re drinking enough water if you void pale urine several times per day.

DON’T try anything new. Now is not the time to try out new running shoes, clothes, foods or eating patterns. Follow the routines that worked best for you during your training.

DO watch what you eat. Of course, everyone’s different. But in general, it’s best to eat balanced meals in the days before the race that include whole grains, vegetables and protein. On the eve of the race, load up on carbohydrates like pasta as they’ll give you an energy boost.

Don’t overdo it the morning of the race, but don’t skimp either, says Jennings. When she’s running, she’ll eat half a bagel with peanut butter, a banana and water.

“Try out what you’ll eat on race day ahead of time to make sure you body tolerates it when you’re running,” she stresses.

For more dos and don'ts read the full post at DukeHealth.org. Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health tips and information every Tuesday. Today's post is part of our Runner Moms series.

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