Running your best race is about more than just knowing when and how far to train. Here, Olympic medalist Deena Kastor gives her champion tips for race-day success.
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Pick your potion
Find out what beverage will be offered at the hydration stations on race day, then drink that during your training runs, Deena suggests: "Sports drinks have different amounts of sugars and other carbs—you want to be drinking the one your body is used to."
Come race day, leave the bottle behind and make a point to drink whenever you reach a station.
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Soothe sore muscles
"There’s nothing better after a tough week of training than a massage," Deena says. A good deep-muscle or sports massage (ask other runners who they go to) will help flush lactic acid out of your system, loosen tight or overworked muscles, and serve as a relaxing reward for your hard work.
Book your appointment for the end of the week so you have something to look forward to.
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Racing with a friend?
"Decide if you’re going to stick together no matter what, or if you’ll be willing to separate if either of you is having a fast—or slow—day," Deena says.
Having an understanding before the race can help you avoid hard feelings after it.
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Beat the slump
Blow through that mid-race low point by redirecting your focus. Instead of obsessing over how your bum knee is holding up or how tired you’re getting, chat up a nearby racer (who’s not wearing headphones).
Deena suggests: "Break the ice by saying, 'I could really use a push right now. What keeps you going?'"
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