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Getting Race-Ready: A Runner’s Guide

Now more than ever, our patients who are training for a race often ask us what they need to know to stay healthy through the course of their training regime and on through race day.

So, we figured it was high time we shared our pro tips.

So, whether you’re running for the first time, occasionally hit the treadmill for the sake of staying in shape, or are an avid runner working hard to improve your time, these tips should help you stay on track so you’re able to hit the ground running on race day. Pun intended.


Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first time 5K-er, it’s important to ease into it. Give your body time to react and adjust! Gradually increase your distance. Then, once you’ve got the distance down, you can work on increasing your speed.


Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus outbreak, you might be worried about running into other people while out and about. In order to avoid that mishap, we suggest taking off early to avoid other runners on the trail. If that’s not an option for you, you might want to bring a mask along.


It can take your muscles time to adjust to the stress of running. Take a day or two off if you need it. It’s important to try to hit training program targets before race day, but don’t ignore warning signs and injure yourself. Recovery isn’t a break from training – it’s part of it. If you can’t bring yourself to take a day off altogether, cross-train on the elliptical or bike to give your legs a break.


If you’re running a virtual race, you’ll need to map out your course ahead of time. On the plus side, you can make the course fit your needs! You can do this by choosing a loop to run continuously, running on the treadmill, or by using a GPS running device to map out the race yourself. Luckily, the options are endless for a virtual race!


Wearing your race-day shoes a week or two before the race will give you time to break them in, helping you avoid blisters. Don’t change it up too much from your normal shoe – different shoes can cause changes in your running style that can result in unexpected pain.


Make sure you are hydrating well for several days leading up to the race, including the night before and the morning of. A few hours before the start of the race, eat a simple, high-carb breakfast, like a bagel or oatmeal.


Your energy levels are bound to be high on race day but don’t let it throw you off. Many runners get out of the gate too quickly – make sure you are sticking to your planned pace and not letting adrenaline take the lead.


Now that you’ve got the tips down, what do you do to prevent or heal an injury?

In addition to helping you recover from running injuries, a physical therapist can also teach you how to safely train by advising you on proper form, training methods, strategies for preventing injury, and proper shoe selection. Seeing a physical therapist to evaluate your functional mobility and movement patterns can help you become a stronger, smarter runner that’s less prone to injury.

Starting a running regimen can often reveal inefficiencies or misalignments in the body. Improper foot alignment can cause hip pain, improper hip alignment can cause knee pain, and so on and so forth. A physical therapist can assess your gait and help you adjust your running technique, reducing your risk of injury before it occurs.

Some of the most common injuries runners experience include hip pain, knee pain, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, foot pain, and stress fractures. If you’re suffering from pain in any of these places, your physical therapist can help determine the cause of the problem and recommend effective cross-training exercises to provide the healing your body needs.

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Progressive Physical Therapy

Granada Hills, CA Phone: (818) 996-1725

Peak Physical Therapy

Boise, Idaho Phone: (208) 587-1777

All Star Physical Therapy

Murrieta, CA Phone: (951) 304‑7273

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Culver City, CA Phone: (310) 837-9700

Physical Therapy Care

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Beverly Hills, CA Phone: (310) 273-7800

Precise Physical Therapy

Kansas City, KS Phone: (855) 745-0278

Manual Edge Physical Therapy

Colorado Springs, CO Phone: (719) 694-8342

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The Villages, FL Phone:

Northwest Physical Therapy

Sedro-Wooley, WA Phone: (360) 428-2700

Shea Physical Therapy

Corpus Christi Phone: 361-992-1933

Advanced Physical Therapy

Wichita, KS Phone: (866) 412-5554

Strive Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation

Moorestown, NJ Phone: (800) 903-4142

Elite Physical Therapy

Alexandria, LA Phone: 318-443-3111

Xcel Sports Medicine

Vandalia, OH Phone: 937-890-9235

Colorado in Motion

Fort Collins, CO Phone: (970) 475-8651


Calabasas, CA Phone: (800) 766-7876

Mountain River Physical Therapy

Parkersburg, WV Phone: (304) 865-6778

Preferred Physical Therapy

Kansas City, MO Phone: (866) 412-5554


Columbus, GA
Auburn, AL
Columbia, SC
Phone: (706) 322-7762

Evidence in Motion (EIM)

San Antonio TX Phone: 888-709-7096

Fit for Work

San Antonio, TX Phone: 877-348-4975

Rehab Therapy Works

Spring Hill, FL Phone: (352) 597-8996

Lake Centre for Rehab

The Villages, FL Phone: (352) 728-6636

Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Lexington, KY Phone: (859) 264-0512

Confluent Health

Louisville, KY Phone: (502) 442-7697

Tallahassee Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Tallahasee, FL Phone: (850) 877-8855


Louisville, KY & Evansville, IN Phone: (888) 591-8280

Physical Therapy Central

Oklahoma City, OK Phone: (866) 866-3893

El Paso Physical Therapy Services

El Paso, Texas Phone: (915) 581-9606

Baton Rouge Physical Therapy

Baton Rouge, LA Phone: (225) 206-5292


Fort Worth, TX Phone: 888-658-8483

Redbud Physical Therapy

Tulsa, OK Phone: (866) 866-3893

Capitol Physical Therapy

Madison, WI Phone: (608) 527-0602

BreakThrough Physical Therapy

Raleigh, NC Phone: (866) 922-0012

Proactive Physical Therapy Specialists

Portland, OR Phone: 866-922-1175

RET Physical Therapy Group

Seattle, Washington Phone: 844-708-7982

Texas Physical Therapy Specialists

Austin TX
San Antonio TX
Phone: 888-658-8483

Pappas OPT Physical, Sports and Hand Therapy

Providence, RI Phone: (401) 205-3423

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