Brought to you by Dr. Andrew Meyer
Assistant Professor in Sports Foundations
Some things to think about as you train:
1.) Try to break at least ONE training run a week up between am/pm this will help get your body prepared for the multi-stage aspect of the relay
2.) Include at least one long run per week, one day of easy/relaxed jogging, and one day of full rest (to prevent injury and fatigue).
3.) Think about your training in total amounts of weekly mileage because you are running 3-8 miles during the relay, you should train to condition your body to the total miles you will be running
4.) X-Training includes activities such as: Cycling (in/outdoor), Yoga, Walking, elliptical, swimming, etc.
Brought to you by Dr. Tony Boucher
Assistant Professor & Clinical Coordinator
Athletic Training Education Program
Keeping your body flexible maintains muscle and joint health as well as reduces the risk of potential injury. It is very important to participate in a regular flexibility program regardless of the training intensity or cycle. Most runners are disciplined about stretching but need to increase the consistency. Attached is a PDF file that contains general flexibility and stretches for the runner. You may be doing many of the stretches in addition to others, but again the key to flexibility is a regular program. Generally, younger runners spend little time on flexibility and rely on running to warm up and "stretch" the muscles. Stretches should be done before and after runs and every day despite your workout routine. A routine flexibility program takes time to complete...MAKE TIME! It is one of the most important aspects of your training program. If you start to ache or feel "tight" during your runs, often stretching will alleviate the symptoms and allow you to finish with minimal disruption and discomfort.
Proper hydration is also very important to decrease the incidence of heat illness, cramping, and injuries. Cramping during competition is usually the result of heat and proper hydration. Hydrating during the run may help cramping temporarily but may also create other problems. Acclimation to the climate and running conditions of the competition will decrease hydration related incidences. Runners should hydrate regularly, maintain a good diet, and become accustomed to extreme heat and cold weather conditions. Acclimation to these conditions starts many months in advance. In Texas, as we all know, November can be very hot or very cold. Proper acclimation to the variations in Texas weather 2 to 3 months in advance will aid in combating hydration or heat related injuries.
Make sure you are properly clothed during training and the relay. The elements can change drastically in Texas. Be sure you are prepared to remove or add proper clothing (or shoes) in response to warm, cold, or wet weather events. Also, pay close attention to your running shoes and wear which can lead to chronic injuries. Gradually wean in a new set of shoes far in advance of the relay.
With such a short time frame before the relay, strength training should not be intense and tapering off presently. A proper strengthening program does aid in the ability to compete and ward off injuries but intense training needs to be in the off season or during the pre-event training cycle. Powerful strength training combined with a long running regimen can breakdown the body's structures actually contributing to injuries. At this stage, strength gains have already occurred and the training needs to be a maintenance program; 1-2 times a week with light intensity scheduled in accordance with your running program.
Brought to you by Dr. Brian Leutholtz
1. Carbohydrates or sugars in products such as breads, pastas, fruits and liquid energy drinks are the most important energy source for moderately high-to-high-intensity exercise.
2. Regular training increases the ability of the muscles to store and use carbohydrate for energy production.
3. Low levels of blood glucose or muscle sugars (carbohydrate) may be contributing factors in the premature onset of fatigue during prolonged exercise.
4. Low levels of muscle carbohydrates may contribute to impaired performance in prolonged, moderate-to high-intensity endurance exercise and in sports involving intermittent high-intensity exercise for 60-90 minutes.
5. Consuming liquid carbohydrate drinks before and during prolonged, intermittent high-intensity or continuous exercise may help delay the onset of fatigue, but unless carbohydrate intake corrects a muscle deficiency, such practices will not improve performance in most athletic events of shorter duration of less than an hour.
6. Combinations of liquid carbohydrates found in sports drinks such as Gatorade, i.e. glucose and fructose, consumed during exercise lasting more than one hour appear to optimize the amount of exogenous carbohydrate that can be oxidized.
7. Athletes should experiment with different carbohydrate supplementation strategies during training to help determine the amount, type, and timing of intake that may be suitable for them in competition.
8. Glucose, sucrose, fructose combinations, and solid carbohydrates appear to be equally effective as a means of enhancing performance, but fructose may be more likely to cause gastrointestinal distress if used alone. A good source of fructose can be found in fruit, or fruit sugars. Solid carbohydrates such as breads and pastas and fruits should be consumed the night before and in most cases based on tolerance at least 4 hours prior to competition.
9. Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (carbohydrates that get into your blood sugar quickly) may facilitate muscle carbohydrate replenishment when consumed immediately after exercise and every 2 hours thereafter.
10. When hydrating prior to exercise the individual should slowly drink liquid beverages such as Gatorade, (for example, ~5-7 ml per kg body weight) at least 4 hours before the exercise task if it is greater than 1 hour in duration. (1 pound equals 2.2 kg). Hydration for exercise lasting less than one hour can be accomplished with just water.
11. The composition of the consumed fluids can be important during prolonged exercise. The Institute of Medicine provided general guidance for composition of "sports beverages" for persons performing prolonged physical activity in hot weather. They recommended a solution of 5-10% carbohydrate such as Gatorade, but no sweeter. Fluid losses as little as 2-3 percent of total body weight can affect performance.
Follow this sample "carb-loading" schedule to maximize race day performance:
7 days prior to competition: Tapering Exercise
6 days prior: Mixed Diet, Moderate Carbs; Tapering Exercise
5 days prior: Mixed Diet, Moderate Carbs; Tapering Exercise
4 days prior: Mixed Diet, Moderate Carbs; Tapering Exercise
3 days prior: **High-Carb Diet; Tapering Exercise
2 days prior: High-Carb Diet; Tapering Exercise or Rest
1 day prior: High-Carb Diet; Tapering Exercise or Rest
**High-carbohydrate diet: 400-800 grams per day
70-80% of dietary calories should be from carbohydrates
Carbohydrate consumption should be primarily in the form of solids, such as breads and pastas until four hours prior to the competition.
You can read about much more about exercise and fluid replacement.