Hey Parks Runners-
It’s finally here! It’s Parks Weekend!
If you haven’t already, please be sure to check out the runner instructions – they contain valuable information about packet pickup, getting to & from the race and other important details to help make the big day go smoothly.
Also – get your bib number in advance by checking out the list on our website. You’ll need your number at packet pickup (please note if you literally just registered, your number won’t be posted yet. But don’t worry – you can view the list at packet pickup, too)
If you missed the e-mail, our friends at Run Farther and Faster have provided some valuable tips for hot weather running – check them out below!
Set Realistic Expectations
Regardless of fitness and experience, all runners are affected by the heat. Through your training this summer, you are likely already familiar with the effects of heat and humidity on pace. Set yourself up for success by running at a pace that is based on effort, or, if you are a numbers person, aim to run a pace that is about 10% slower than your anticipated half marathon time in ideal temperatures (a rough estimate is about :10-:20/mile slower). Once you hit the last 5K of the race, if you have enough gas left in the tank, pick up your pace and finish strong. By committing to adjusting your pace in advance of the race, you will enjoy your race experience, while ensuring a strong finish.
Pre-Race Hydration and Nutrition
As you prepare for race day, be mindful of your hydration, especially starting three days before race day. Pay attention to your thirst levels and drink enough that your urine is clear and copious, but not so much that you are waterlogged. Use common sense and find the sweet spot that works for you in terms of the amount of hydration your body requires. In addition to drinking water, eat foods that are high in electrolytes, such as in bananas, apricots, oranges, and peaches. Add some extra salt (sodium is also an electrolyte) to your food one to two days before the race. At the same time, stick with what is familiar. Now is not the time to try a new diet or diet modifications.
On race morning, drink twelve to sixteen ounces of an electrolyte drink, such as Nuun electrolyte tabs or Gatorade, with your breakfast approximately 1-2 hours before the start. In addition, consider taking an electrolyte capsule (see more below). Because the race starts at 7:00, minimize drinking and eating by 6:00 to avoid potential digestive issues and cramps. While small sips are fine during the hour before the race, you do not want to start with too much water in your system. During the race, consider taking Gatorade, which provides some electrolytes, from the aid stations if you have tried it in training (again, don’t try something new on race day) or, if you are carrying your own hydration, remember to sip regularly. However, when taking nutrition (gels, beans, etc.) during the race, wash it down with water (not Gatorade) to avoid digesting too many sugars at once. Also, if you start to feel sloshing in your stomach, that’s a sign that you are drinking too much. Take a break for few minutes to allow the sloshing to dissipate.
A Note on Electrolyte Capsules
Consider taking an electrolyte capsule (like SaltStick or Endurolytes) the evening before the race, with your breakfast, and one each hour during the race to help maintain your electrolyte levels. This, along with sufficient hydration and nutrition, will allow you to optimize your race performance, in spite of the hot conditions.
Listen to Your Body
Know the signs for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you start to experience dizziness, chills, unusual fatigue, and/or nausea, these are signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Stop and seek the assistance of a Parks Half Marathon volunteer immediately.
We wish all of the Parks Half runners an enjoyable and safe race experience! See you at the finish line!
Have a great race,
Coaches Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann, Run Farther & Faster