A Fit 2012: Let’s Run a 5K, Week 12. Race Week!

Race week. It has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? Maybe you never thought that you would use the term, but here you are, a runner, in your last week of training before your race.

We’re not making a lot of changes to the schedule, but you will notice a little less intensity toward the end of the week. The goal is to feel refreshed and rested on race day. If you have been doing the optional speed work, it is still included this week, but with a little less volume. Remember to start each workout with an 8-10 minute walk, and to stretch when you’re done.

Day One: After your warm up, run for 25 minutes. Cool down, stretch, ice.

Day Two: Active Recovery. Warm up, then run for 20 minutes. Cool down, etc. Optional Speedwork: (Do this instead of the Active Recovery.) Warm up, then run for two minutes at your normal pace. For the next two minutes pick up the pace (think effort level of about 8-9 on a scale of 10). Slow down to your normal pace for two minutes. Repeat three more times (a total of four fast intervals). Cool down and stretch.

Day Three: Rest

Day Four: After your warm up, run for 20 minutes. Cool down, stretch, ice.

Day Five: After your warm up, run for 15 minutes. Cool down, stretch, ice.

Day Six: Rest. Eat normally and try to get some good sleep.

Day Seven: Race Day things to remember:

1. You can do this!
2. Depending on the time of your race, eat very lightly, nothing that you’re not used to. Drink a little water, so that you’ll be hydrated, but don’t overdo it.
3. Get to the race venue early enough so that you can park, pick up your race number, etc. without having to rush.
4. Pin your race number to the front of your shirt.
5. Double tie your shoelaces.
6. Warm up a little by a brisk walk or a slow jog for about 5 minutes.
7. Race etiquette is to line up according to your race pace or expected finishing time.
8. Take a breath, you’ll be fine.
9. When the race starts, consciously make yourself slow down. Everybody starts too fast at first.
10. Enjoy yourself.
11. Take a few sips of water at each water station. Thank the volunteers, they appreciate it.
12. Congratulate yourself at the finish line. You did it!
13. In all the excitement, don’t forget to take a little time to cool down and stretch. Enjoy some of the post race refreshments.
14. After a day of recovery, plan your next race. Next time, you might want to follow the “Getting Faster” program that is on the bottom of each Fit 2012 post starting with week two!

If you have any pictures or a race recap you’d like to share, send them to me! I’d love to post them on the blog. Check the Contact page for all the contacting options.

Getting Faster

Well, it’s race week! The plan for the week is to gradually taper down through the week, so that by race day you feel fit and refreshed and ready to go. If you’ve been following the plan you are certainly ready to go out a set a personal record (PR) for yourself.

The Workouts:

The Long Run: This week, in order to be rested for your race, cut your long run back by about 30%. If you were running eight, this week run five to six. If six was your long run, cut back to four. Make sure to leave at least two days between your long run and your race.

The Interval Workout: For your interval workout, head to the track. This will be a brief workout, to help you feel your pace and build your confidence. After your warm up, run 800m at your goal race pace. Walk or jog for 400m, then repeat. Cool down and stretch. This workout should be done at the beginning of the week.

The Lactate Threshold Workout: No threshold run this week.

The other running days should be light, easy workouts. The day before your race you can take a complete rest day, or take a short, easy jog of about a mile.

Race Day

You’ve done this before, but you can still take a glance at the tips for the new racers, just to remind yourself. The number one thing is “don’t go out too fast.” With your training, you know how your race pace should feel, but sometimes in the excitement of the moment you will forget and just go out running as fast as you can.

Instead, try this: The first mile, run a little slower that your goal race pace (maybe 10-15 seconds a mile slower). When you hit the first mile marker, pick it up to your race pace. At mile two you can pick it up again, just a little faster than race pace. Then, when you hit mile three (if they have it marked) or when you are close to the finish line, give it your all! Sprint that .1 mile and stride across that finish line with a smile on your face.

Congratulations! Follow the tips above for recovery. You’re not just a runner now, you’re a racer.

Again, I would love to post any pictures or race recaps that you’d like to share. Contact info is here.

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