Race Day Preparation Tips For Athletes

Every Track Runner needs a 15-18 minute warm-up to prepare to race well. It's what the athlete does in that time period that varies by category/event.

Sprinter: Here is a typical warm-up: 6-8 minutes of light running, 3-4 minutes of drills (to increase Range of Motion) such as skips, butt kicks, and fast feet/high knees. Another 5 minutes will be spent with a series of sprints/strides of about 40-60m @ Race Pace. Adequate recovery and stretching in between is a must. The sprinter may adjust the distance and speed of the drills/strides according to the race being run. Between the warm-up and the race the athlete should stay loose and switch into Spikes or Racing Shoes.

Distance Runner: includes an easy run of about 10 minutes followed by a series of drills (similar to above). Several strides of about 60-80m in length @ Race Pace are also ideal. The athlete should spend the remaining time before the event stretching and switching into Spikes or Racing Shoes.

How Long Before A Race Do I Begin My Warm-Up? Approximately, 25-30 minutes.
If I Have 2 Races, Do I Have To Warm-Up Again? Yes, just do ½ the usual warm-up routine!

After your events, it is very important that you cool-down properly. Even though you may be done competing for the day and feeling tired, the cool-down is the 1st thing you can do to get ready for your next race. The reason for the cool-down is to flush out the "toxins" that build up in your muscles during a hard race or workout. Just like the warm-up brings "fresh" blood into the muscles before a race, the cool-down takes "tired" blood away.

How Long Do I Cool-Down? Here, there is little difference for Sprinters/Distance Runners; an easy jog/run of about 6-10 minutes followed by some stretching of your tight muscles is all you need. If you have another race to do, cool-down for ½ the usual routine.

Other Tips:
1) Keep some light sweats on until you switch into your Spikes or Racing Shoes.
2) Wear a T-shirt or Top until you approach the start line.
3) If there is an hour or more between events, you may consider sipping some Gatorade or possibly eating something small like a POWERBAR. If there is less than an hour between events, water alone is fine.
4) Always prepare for unpredictable weather by bringing extra socks, shirts and sweats.