Running is one of the most intimidating sports out there, and even seasoned racers experience stress in the days leading up to a big event. Unlike most races, running requires little equipment—shoes, clothing, and an optional hydration system are the only variable pieces. As a result, race preparation and training are essential for even the shortest of races or the most experienced of runners. Popular Couch to 5K programs emphasize that even the smallest amount of effort can make a difference on race day, but longer distances necessitate a strict training and eating schedule. Below, we have included a few of our favorite running race prep tips.
Athletes should choose their training programs based on the length of their race. Most beginner 5K programs are between four and six weeks long, while 10K and half marathons can take around 12 weeks of training. If you are thinking of undertaking a marathon, you should give yourself at least 18 weeks to complete a training program. It is essential to choose a race based on your current fitness level—most training programs require a base weekly distance, so don’t expect to run a marathon in 18 weeks if you cannot currently run a mile.
When it comes to training, runners should focus on the sport itself—running—and strength training. Though preparation varies from program to program, serious runners should aim to incorporate at least four days of running each week, one day of additional cardio (kickboxing, cycling, skiing, &c), and two to three days of strength training (can be combined with cardio days). It is essential to work on strengthening each part of your body; though running is primarily a lower body workout, spend some time toning your arms and abdominal muscles. You may be surprised by what is sore after a race.
As with every race, it is essential for athletes to give their bodies time to rest between intense workouts. If you are preparing for a marathon with 10mi+ runs, rest or do low-impact exercises between long runs. If you feel like something is wrong, take a few days off and see a doctor. If you have to take a break from training, focus on your diet, stretching, and mental preparation for the race ahead.
If you prefer pounding the pavement to paddling the surf, Salida has more than its fair share of race options for you as well. There are over 300 identified hiking trails, run courses, bike paths, and roads in the immediate vicinity of Salida, and thousands more miles of trails to explore in the surrounding Sangre De Cristo mountain range and the San Luis Valley. You could run your entire life and not run the same route twice. But what if you’re looking for more than rock-hopping and frolicking through the forest? Here’s a list of road races, trail races, and ultras that are within a stone’s throw of Salida, CO.
FIBark 5K & 10K Road Races, and 10K Trail Race – A great way to kick off a day of whitewater hijinks!
Run Through Time Marathon, ½ Marathon, and 2 Mile Fun Run – 26.2 miles, 11.7 on singletrack mountain trails, 4,750 feet of climbing, and 450 runners. May the best runner win!
Two Turkey Relay – Find a friend and run back to back legs on this 2 mile course through downtown Salida.
Sleeping Indian Hill Climb and 28K – the Sleeping Indian takes place during the annual 14er fest held every September in neighboring Buena Vista. The hill climb is an intense 5.8 mile “sprint” on local trails, while the 28k is a challenging ½ marathon through the surrounding mountains.
Collegiate Peaks Trail Run – Collegiate Peaks Trail Run starts out of Buena Vista, CO and includes grueling 25 and 50 mile runs through some of Colorado’s most pristine mountain landscapes.
National High School Trail Running Championships – a 6 mile trail race out of Salina that is open to all comers entering grades 8-12 in the next calendar year.
High Lonesome 100 – If you’re a glutton for punishment, the High Lonesome 100 is a 100 mile trail race through the beautiful Sawatch Mountains. Topping out at 13,150 feet of elevation, and with more than 24,500 feet of vertical climbing, this epic ultramarathon trail race draws elite runners from across the nation and the globe.[Top]