As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a squat position mobilising my ankles. This one and my many other rituals will make a difference when I face the day I’ve been training for – the race day.
You might have your very own specific prep routine. If not, then I hope you’ll find some inspiration to boost your next-day race performance in what I consider to be the 2 absolute prep essentials (for both experienced and beginner athletes):
- Easy Run (AM): 20-30 minutes of very easy aerobic run.
- Mobility (PM): Foam rolling, yoga and mobility stretches.
Let’s delve into the specifics:
1. Easy Run
Not a fatigue-inducing run, this exercise should feel like a breeze. Focus on running in an aerobic state (less than 70% HRM meaning you could hold a conversation without losing your breath if you were running alongside someone else). All for 20-30 minutes.
This will flush fresh blood in, break down and flush out any of the lactic acid remains accumulated during your previous, harder runs.
After it’s done, cool down by walking briskly for 5-10minutes and stretching right after.
The basic Protocol:
- Foam rolling:
- Lower body (quads, IT band, hamstrings, calves)
- Upper body (biceps, triceps, lats, thoracic spine, traps and shoulders)
- Equipment: Vyper Blackroll Vibrating foam roller (review coming soon), lacrosse ball, mini black roll.
- Principles: rolling slowly (so it hurts!) only over the painful spots (adhesions) for optimal myofascial release.
- Focus on: hip mobility, legs, neck and shoulders
- Other stretches:
- Coach stretch (pictured below).
- 5-10min in a squat position to improve ankle mobility.
And just like that I’m ready to face tomorrow’s challenge: the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Spartan Sprint in London.