With over 150 running events in Singapore alone per year, doing more than one race in a weekend is a challenge you will have to face, sooner or later. To conquer such a multi-race weekend, you won’t want the post-race muscle soreness and lethargy. You want to step onto the starting line of your next race feeling strong and fresh. What you’d need here is a solid recovery plan. But to get there, you’ve got to sufficiently prepare yourself for this multi-race weekend first.
Just like training for a marathon, you need your training to mirror the format of your actual race event. Practice the recover and run process.
This table shows two ways for your to mirror actual race weekend:
- Add 2 consecutive days of running (e.g. Sat and Sun)
- Do double runs on a single day (week 2)
Similar to a typical run training program, there would be a step back week. This is when you reduce your training rigor to give your body sufficient rest. All the muscle development happens during your rest.
You could be doing a 5km and a 21km back to back, or two 10 km runs back to back. Adjust your consecutive training runs to mirror your actual event. The longest distance you should cover depends on what kind of multi-race event you’re participating in. It could be 2 to 3 km less than the actual distance.
If you’re up for it, add some strength training and core work into the mix too! They’re good for helping you maintain proper form while running, which minimizes fatigue as well. With technology, it’s much easier for runners to keep track of all these training-related stuff anyway.
A combination of carbs and proteins is proven to be best. Carbs help to restore muscle glycogen. To provide some background, muscle glycogen is the most efficient and most commonly used source to fuel your muscles. Without it, your body is going to be much less efficient at delivering energy. So replenishing muscle glycogen is super important. Protein then repairs your muscles, allowing them to rebuild for the next race coming up. Intaking all these as soon as you finish your race would be ideal because that’s when your muscles are most receptive to these nutrients. During the training process, you should already have a better sense of what nutrition works for you.
Stretch and foam roll. Stretching allows the tension in your muscles to relax. If you wait till your muscles have cooled down before stretching, you might accidentally pull something. Foam rolling, on the other hand, helps to remove knots in your muscles. These knots are nasty stuff that prevent your muscles from moving through the full range of motion. Avoid just plunging yourself into ice or lying motionless on the couch. They keep you rested but not recovered.