Should you run a day before the Big Race?

January 9, 2020

It is common advice that you should always rest well before the BIG day. Along with other advice includes loading up on your carbohydrates to make sure your glycogen storage is at the maximum for the best endurance during marathons.

And all these advice have a common focus on allowing your body to recover sufficiently before a big challenge.

However, there are also running experts that debate over whether it's necessary to rest completely the day before a big run.

Here are 3 reasons why you should run before Raceday.

Running the day before a race will NOT make you tired

Contrary to popular belief, running before your race will actually help to make sure your muscles are well adapted and remain in a "ready state" to take on your challenge.

If you are well-trained, your body should be well adapted to a simple run and your muscles generally well not undergo any sort of wear and tears due to your previous training.

Improves blood flow

Running before race day helps maintain healthy blood circulation and ensures that all your muscles are well supplied.

This also helps your muscles to loosen up so they are ready to receive nutrients and oxygen smoothly during game-time.

This is also the reason why you already feel "warmed-up" if you have ran prior to the race day. Technically you have had a day to warm up your limbs to be nimble and ready for a challenge!

Creating a routine

Running before race day helps to eliminate any race-day pressure and stress because you are still continuing a "Routine". This will reduce anticipation or unnecessary focus on the actual race day so you can get a great night's rest.

Running before a day also expends all your pent-up adrenaline and calms your nerve, allowing your nervous system to really recover instead of staying inflamed due to anticipation and pressure.

However, here is what you should take note of

Running before race day has it's benefits but here are some important tips to make sure that it does not backfire

  • Do not train harder than your previous sessions during the day before your race-day, maintain your run at 50% - 60% of your actual training days.
  • If running before a race-day is not part of your actual routine, stick to having a rest before race-day. This routine is not suited for everyone and a sudden change of routine could hinder your recovery time.
  • If you have a run the next morning, try to run the morning before and not at night so your body has at least 18 hours of rest to recover glycogen stores.

So should you run before the race-day?

While there is no proper study being conducted on which routine helps better performance, our advice is to try it out for yourself!

However, if you are worried about over-exercising your muscles, why not try out an alternative like taking some adult swimming lessons?

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