Spontaneously running Briggs & Al’s Run and Walk is good, but starting to prepare now is even better. Here is your seven-day training guide to prepare for race day and make this year’s run your best yet.
Saturday, Sept. 10
Recruit a running buddy for training accountability and added fun. Find someone with a similar running style for compatible training. First time runners should choose a friend who can challenge them and be a motivation on race day.
Sunday, Sept. 11
Go the Distance. Map out an 8K run with ample time spent on Wisconsin Avenue. Even if you have to walk, be sure to complete the entire length of the 8K so you know what to expect. Stretch quads, hamstrings and calves before and after your run. And be sure to practice good breathing while running.
Monday, Sept. 12
Stretch. Commit at least 30 minutes to calf, hamstring, quadriceps and shoulder stretching. Rusty runners will be especially tight after yesterday’s run. To prevent pulling a muscle, take a hot shower or sit in the steamroom before your stretching session. Lengthening your muscles with stretching increases muscle performance.
Tuesday, Sept. 13
Healthy Eating Plan. Critique your eating habits with your buddy. Substitute high fat snacks with high protein and high carbohydrate meals, like whole wheat pasta and grilled chicken. Remember, food is fuel. The quality of your fuel intake will determine the quality of your running performance. Commit to your new healthy eating plan until race day. And of course, be sure to hydrate. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day, every day.
Wednesday, Sept. 14
Get the gear. Make sure your running attire is breathable, comfortable and supportive. Once an outfit is picked out, go for a run. Notice any discomfort during the run and be sure to adjust before Saturday.
Thursday, Sept. 15
Perfect Your Playlist. Add songs with upbeat melodies and constant beats like Please Don’t Stop the Music by Rihanna, Two Step by Dave Matthews Band, DJ’s Got Us Falling in Love by Usher or Right Hand Hi by Caspa Remix. Exercise at the Rec Center for at least 30 minutes with your new playlist and adjust accordingly.
Friday, Sept. 16
Mind Mantra. While taking a light jog outside, remember what this run is all about. Briggs & Al’s Run and Walk is as philanthropic as it is fun. Tomorrow marks its 34th year and your pledged support helps provide for more than 325,000 patient visits every year at Children’s Memorial Hospital. Keeping this in mind will cut the competitive edge.
Saturday, Sept. 17
Race Day. Eat a light breakfast like Nature Valley granola bars or toast with peanut butter. Before the race starts, give yourself a pat on the back for committing seven days to healthy eating and exercise with your running buddy.