coach anthony's tips for running your best race
Want to run your best race yet? See the below tips from Coach Anthony to maximize your performance on your virtual race day!
- Plan where you’ll run. Start and end at home if you’re able to. Avoid narrow paths or areas with heavy pedestrian traffic where practicing social distancing could be challenging. Be flexible. Remember, the cool thing about a virtual race is that you get to do it at a day and time when you feel ready and are able to do it safely!
- If you are motivated by music, download the official Longhorn Run playlist. If you prefer to run without music, simply plan to enjoy the sounds around you and take it all in!
- Download the Nike Run Club app or your favorite running app to track your race.
the day before
- Rest. Get enough sleep the night before you run your race. Being well-rested will make all the difference in the world on how you feel and perform during your race
- Gear up. The night before, lay out your race day outfit.. Check the weather forecast and lay out your shoes and apparel. This will help you avoid any unnecessary delays!
- Be smart about the time of day you will be running. It already feels warm in some locations and high temperatures and humidity will adversely affect your performance. If this is the case for your location, try to run in the morning or early evening when the heat is not as high so that you have your best run yet.
- Fuel up. Take care of your pre-race nutrition. If you plan to run in the morning, eat something light, such as a banana or a piece of toast, prior to your run to make sure you have enough energy. If you are running later in the day, try to avoid heavy food and have your last meal before the race at least a couple of hours before you begin. You don't want to run on an empty or heavy stomach!
- Before your run, make sure to do some light warmup drills and dynamic stretches so that you have the best run possible. We recommend the 7-minute “Runner Warm-Up” found in Nike Training Club app!
- For a pre-race warm-up, dynamic stretches are light and gentle stretches that mimic the activity you are about to do and are not held for more than half a second or a second. Save the static stretches for after your run!
- If you would like to run your race virtually with someone else, remember you can join the Nike Run Club community through the Nike Run Club app and find other runners to virtually run with. Plus, you can take advantage of guided 5k and 10k runs by an NRC Coach and even treadmill runs! The NRC app is also a great way to track your distance and pace.
- If you are quarantining with someone, that person makes an excellent race buddy! Bring them along and make sure you follow all public health and safety guidelines for the city and location you are in.
during your race
- Stay hydrated! Since there are no manned water stops like during a traditional race, carry a handheld water bottle with you (there are some really cool ones designed for runners)! If you are doing a treadmill run, keep your water bottle next to you!
- Recognize the stress from COVID-19, from your classes, working from home, and anything else that may affect your performance on race day. If it does, try to do your best, but give yourself some grace and embrace your performance.
- A positive mental outlook is key! Even though the world seems to be cancelled right now, try to pause everything stressful around you and try to enjoy everything about your run. Think that the Longhorn family is out there running with you and we are all able to still come together through running from our respective corners of the world!
- Remember everyone has a different goal for their race, and you are not the exception. Run fast if you want to, or take your time and complete the race at your own pace.
- Take tons of selfies along the way, share them, and tag @longhornrun. Remember this is your race and the most important thing is for you to have fun and enjoy it!
after your race
- When you complete your run, you should do static stretches to help your body recover quicker and feel less sore. Make sure to cover the main lower body muscle groups at a minimum (lower back, glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves) and hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. You can also find some great cool-down routines for runners in the Nike Training Club App!
- Most of all, feel proud of yourself for getting out there and completing the race. These are unprecedented times and we continue to be inspired by your resiliency. If you share any race pics on social media, remember to tag @longhornrun and use #WeRunUT so that the LHR community can celebrate with you!