Are you running the NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday? I’ll be hitting the pavement to raise money as part of Covenant House’s March Madness Challenge in order to help feed, clothe, and house homeless youth. Here are my essential tips for completing a successful race this weekend.

1. Gotta get sleep! Running a race while sleep-deprived has poor outcomes on race performance and post-race recovery!

2. I like to break the run up into 3 or 4 sections. This will make the run feel shorter and more manageable. Use of mental imagery during the run will help you run stronger as well!

3. Carb load the day before the race. Consuming familiar and concentrated foods (juices, pasta, rice) can contribute to higher endurance. Just be cautious of equally high fiber in food to avoid stomach distress.

4. The morning of, I’ll eat 8 ounces of Greek yogurt with berries (40 grams of carbohydrates) for fuel during the run.

5. I avoid drinking too much water during the race. Drinking too much water can lead to hyponatremia, or water intoxication.  During a marathon, I stop for water only in the last 8 miles, so providing I am hydrated at the beginning of the race, I may not even stop during the half-marathon.

6. Don’t change a thing the week prior! Not your pillow, not your shoes, not even your shoelaces! If you haven’t done it all throughout training don’t do it now!

Photo thanks to Jason Mak/Flickr

Author Bio: A member of the Physiofitness team since 2013, Will is known for combining his positive energy and motivating attitude to improve his client’s physical condition through soft tissue mobilization and proper movement techniques.  He specializes in running-related injuries like IT Band syndrome, plantar fasciitis and hamstring strains.  He also has successfully treated elite-level athletes, including golfers, soccer players, long-distance runners, boxers, and military special operations personnel. […] read more