Get ready for your big goal race by taking a practice run.

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Fall racing season is here! Scheduling a tune-up race 6-8 weeks before your goal race is the best way to rehearse everything you’re going to do on the big day. It is also useful to pinpoint what areas that are your strong points and what areas you still need to work on during the remainder of the training period. Here’s how to make the most of your tune-up race:

Before the Race

  • Eat what you plan on eating eat the night before your race.
  • Start to make sure you’re hydrating adequately in the days leading up to the race.
  • Eat the same breakfast you plan on eating race day. Take into account the time your goal race starts verses the time you’re doing your tune-up race.
  • Write out your race day strategy. Practice following a race day plan even if you aren’t running any miles at goal race pace.

During the race:

  • Practice navigating the water stops. You’ll want to skip the first few tables to avoid congestion. Give yourself time to grab two cups in case you don’t manage to get water in your mouth with the first one. I know it sounds silly, but it can be difficult to grab and go.
  • Carry the fuel you plan to use on race day and use it at similar increments during the race.
  • Practice running the tangents. If you don’t know what that means here’s a good tutorial.

After the race:

  • Do a cool-down to enhance recovery.
  • Refuel within an hour of the race. You want something that has a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio to aid in the recovery process.
  • At some point later in the day you should foam roll.
  • Make notes about what went well and what you need to work on to be ready for race day.

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