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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.

Find a Physical Therapist today!

Strive PTSR

Moorestown, NJ

Elite Physical Therapy

Alexandria, LA

Xcel Sports Medicine

Vandalia, OH

Colorado in Motion

Fort Collins, CO



Mountain River PT

Parkersburg, WV

Advanced and Preferred Physical Therapy

Kansas City, MO
Wichita, KS


Columbus, GA
Auburn, AL
Columbia, SC

Evidence in Motion (EIM)

San Antonio TX

Fit for Work

San Antonio TX

Rehab Therapy Works

Spring Hill, FL

Lake Centre for Rehab

The Villages, FL

Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Lexington, KY

Confluent Health

Louisville, KY

Tallahassee Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Tallahasee, FL

ProRehab Inc

Evansville, IN
Bowling Green, KY

ProRehab Physical Therapy

Louisville, KY

Physical Therapy Central

Oklahoma City, OK

El Paso Physical Therapy Services

El Paso, Texas

Baton Rouge Physical Therapy Lake

Baton Rouge, LA


Fort Worth, TX

Redbud Physical Therapy

Tulsa, OK

Capitol Physical Therapy

Madison, Wisc

BreakThrough Physical Therapy

Raleigh, NC

Proactive Physical Therapy Specialists

Portland, Oregon

RET Physical Therapy Group

Seattle, Washington

Texas Physical Therapy Specialists

Austin TX
San Antonio TX

Pappas Physical Therapy | OPT Physical Therapy

Providence, RI


Confluent Family Partner Brands


Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinics across the county


Educational partners with 3005 locations in the U.S. and Canada


Workplace Injury Prevention Sites


Confluent Family

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