My first race back!
This upcoming Tuesday I’ll be 12 weeks postpartum, and with around 5 full runs under my belt (all in Zone 2, easy) I am super happy with today’s result. My training on the bike helped tremendously with my overall fitness, and the Strength Training Plan I created for runners and used myself (for sale HERE), helped me run this 5km in 22min and 23 seconds. My body felt AAAAMAZING (my legs, glutes, core and upper body felt in control and so strong), but my lungs were definitely not used to the running effort. I definitely started to feel queasy in the last km which was into a headwind and on a slight incline to the finish. Room for improvement there;) I also started much further back then I had planned (I arrived later than planned to the starting line), so I walked the first bit of the start and then got a slow start to my running as I had to navigate around people.
So while I didn’t train for this 5km, or even taper for it, it’s exciting to know that my body can and will go faster...the question soon will be, how much faster can I go!
For now I’m going to reflect on today’s race and give you a summary of some key takeaways:
- If you are going into your A race, or even your B race, then definitely include a taper before race day. Taper means that you are easing up on the workload, such as decreasing volume, and giving your body adequate rest before race day. I chose not to taper for this one as I didn’t want to treat it like a “real” race and wanted to simply see where my base fitness is at.
- Schedule a massage or do your own body massage 2 days before race day. This helps your muscles be best prepared for race day. In my case I did a “Float” bath, not planned - it was a surprise that my hubby organized as part of a date night.
- Fill in a “Race Day Plan Worksheet”, available HERE. This helps walk you through everything you need to plan for for race day. In future for mine I should add DO NOT FORGET YOUR WALLET lol. Fortunately my car didn’t get towed lol.
- Practice your race day routine in training so that you are comfortable with it on race day. In my case I didn’t have enough training under my belt for this one with running, but I have enough experience to know what works for me. I personally like to eat white bread with banana and peanut butter 2 hours before the race start time. And from the time I eat to the time I start, I also like to sip on an electrolyte beverage as well as consume an espresso about 1-1.5 hours before the start of the race (5mg per kg of body weight).
- Be sure to give yourself enough time from the time you leave your house to the time the race starts. Pack everything you need the night before so that you’re not running around the morning of. I was “off” this morning by about 10 minutes (which is why I had to start further back in my corral). This was because a certain little toddler woke up when I fed Baby A (at around 5:15am) and was VERY emotional and wouldn’t let me leave without her...which I had to do😭. In the end what worked was me telling her I had to go buy bread for breakfast lol. Quite a long trip to the grocery store eh?!
- In your bag make sure you have everything you need for your race (bib, water/fuel, shoes, watch if you desire, headphones for music, etc), a change of clothes for after your race (compression socks if you have for after to help with recovery), YOUR WALLET lol, extra food and even a premade smoothie to consume after your race, a breast pump if you’re breastfeeding like me and don’t have the baby around (she was at home with Abuelita), and anything else you like.
- A few other personal things I do on race day that you might try or already do too: 1) I don’t race with music. I had one headphone in my ear in case I wanted to turn it on near the end, but I didn’t and instead I focused on my breathing rhythm. Overall this helps me a great deal because I run more efficiently and don’t cramp. 2) For longer races I usually wear compression gear. I didn’t this time but I will for my next FTP Test or 5km race;) 3) Thank the volunteers!!! They are out there taking time out of their days to cheer YOU on. And when it’s cold or raining, I’m sure they’d much rather be at home indoors with hot chocolate. Yes it’s an extra breath that you could conserve for energy but it goes a long way ❤️.
If there’s more I think about later, I’ll be sure to write about it;)
That’s it for now though and this mama is ready to tackle the rest of the day with family activities.
Thank you for your amazing messages and support, I carry them with me!!
Until next time,