“What can I do to I keep myself warmed up, or keep myself from tightening up, while waiting in the corral?”
The anticipation and excitement of race day is finally here! You’ve thought about what running shoes to wear, your running outfit, and the pace you’re hoping to maintain, but you may not have given much thought to how you’re going to manage the significant waiting time between arriving at the race, getting to your corral, and actually starting to run.
Here are some simple strategies to stay warm so you’re ready to go when your wave starts!
- Dress in layers. If the temperature is low enough that you’ll be uncomfortable just standing around in your running gear, bring some old sweats that you can ditch at the start. A lightweight long-sleeved shirt can be tied around your waist once you warm up. Arm warmers also come in handy to keep you warm before your own body heat takes over.
- Keep your hands and head warm. Disposable hand warmers in your gloves can make a huge difference as well as keeping your head covered. There’s a reason that TCS New York City Marathon runners appreciate Dunkin’ Donuts besides the great coffee; waiting around for hours on a cool November morning on Staten Island would be a lot more uncomfortable without the warm fleece caps provided by Dunkin’ Donuts.
- Sip warm fluids. Hot tea can create a little internal warmth as well as providing pre-race hydration.
- Perform an active warm-up. A proper warm up will increase your body temperature, raise your heart rate, and increase blood flow to your muscles which should help improve your performance out of the gate and reduce your risk of injury. An active warm up can include:
- Knee hugs, standing quad stretches, figure-four stretches
- High knees, leg swings, jumping jacks, squats, alternating lunges with a twist, and butt kicks
Besides just making you more comfortable as you wait to start your race, these strategies should help you perform at your best right out of the gate!
About the Author
Ashley Fluger CSCS, CPT is a sports performance specialist at the Tisch Sports Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. She graduated top in her class from Indiana University and also completed the Sport Essentials Certificate Program from Columbia University. Ashley has an extensive knowledge in exercise science and sports performance.