There are special ways to prepare for your next track meet that will help you to run faster. I have followed certain preparations before my track meets that I still use in my races today... because they work! Ensuring that you stretch, eat prior to, rest, and are mentally prepared, can make a big difference in how you place overall. And this can separate you from the rest of the pack. Now let me tell you the ways to prepare for your next track meet so you can have a grand finish and a personal record time!
1. Get to Bed Early the Night Prior
Get to bed early so you will be well rested and give your body time to heal from your practice runs. Rest is the ultra important time when your muscle fiber will heal. Aim for 8-10 hours of sleep. This is one of the super important ways to prepare for your next track meet.
2. Eat Healthy Throughout the Day
I totally get it that you may want the occasional cookie, but do not make this part of your daily food plan. You should be eating 5 servings of vegetables a day, and make sure to have a banana the day prior to race day to get your dose of potassium and beat muscle cramping.
3. Eat a Small Meal before Your Meet
Make sure to eat a small meal before your race. I usually have a sliced apple with peanut butter to have some fruit and protein. Some athletes swear by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Find something light and healthy that works for you and make this part of your race day preparation.
Male sure you stretch the night before your race and before your race as well. Some athletes prefer dynamic stretching (stretches in motion, like jumping jacks) while others prefer static stretching (stretches in one place, like toe touches). I like to do static stretches the night prior and dynamic stretches on race day. My static stretches are the basics of toe touches, hamstring and quadriceps stretches. And my dynamic stretches usually consist of high knees and a light jog. Find what works for you!
5. Mentally Prepare Yourself
I want you to get into the "winner" zone and believe in yourself. It does not matter what place you come in if you run your best. But if you are holding back or psyching yourself out when you have serious potential you need to get out of your funk and into the "winner" zone. I believe everyone is a winner if they want to be. Just make sure to do the training and be ready race day!
6. Hydrate Yourself
Make sure to drink 8-10 glasses of water and hydrate yourself. You do not want to have a hamstring cramp in the middle of the 800 yard dash, mile run or whatever distance you compete in. So drink plenty of water so you will be ready!
7. On Your Mark, Set, Run Your Heart out!
Whatever you do I want you to run your heart out and leave all your energy on the track. You can not relive this race day so live it right today and do your best. Run with love, passion and heart because you are meant to be a runner!
I hope these tips will prepare you for your personal best at your next track meet, and that you will have a super race. Do you find that you have special preparations for your current races? If so, how do you prepare?