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5 Race Day Tips for Your Holiday Run

By Brandi Goodman 

You may find yourself participating in a holiday race. Whether it's to raise money for charity or you're just doing it for fun, you still need to keep some things in mind so you can make the most of it. A few race day tips will help you run your race without it ending in pain or injury.

Eat Hours Before the Race

Never chow down on a large meal, or even a small one, in the hour or two before a race. You don't want to end up feeling slow and sluggish because your body is trying to digest what you ate. You should eat a nutritious meal that will fuel your body a few hours before the race is set to begin. Some oatmeal with berries and nuts is a great choice.

Stretch Before You Start

It's also important not to start a race without any stretching or activity first. You need to stretch before you start so your joints are flexible and better able to handle the stress they're about to go through as you run. Take a short walk around the block and be sure to focus on stretching your quads and calves.

Wear Running Shoes

Showing up to a race in flats, heels, or sandals is never ideal. You want a pair of comfortable, well-fitting running shoes that will keep your feet feeling great during the race. Anything else will undoubtedly lead to foot pain which can turn into leg and back pain as well. 

Stretch After the Race

Although you may be feeling tired and ready to sit down immediately after the race, don't. You need to walk for a few minutes after and give your legs a good stretch so you can aid your recovery time. This will prevent some of the pain you'll feel in the days to follow.

Check Out the Race Route

Before race day it's helpful to check out the race route of where you'll be running. It helps to map out the precise location and see which paths you'll be taking. You can even practice on the route if you desire so you know which areas are tougher to get through and where you need to exert more effort.

Keep these race day tips in mind for your holiday run or any other run in your future. You don't want to end up sore and hurting because you wore the wrong shoes or didn't stretch before you started. Just a few simple things will help make the race more bearable and easier to recover from afterward.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.

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