The Redfish Memorial Run is coming fast! Make sure you’re prepared with these 10 Tips For Running at Elevation.
Most of us don’t get the opportunity to train in the mountains before the Redfish Memorial Run – or others that occur in scenic mountain settings – but it’s important to prepare properly so you can perform at your best. Follow these 10 easy tips to be at your peak (pun intended) on the day of the run…
- HILL TRAINING IN ADVANCE
Doing short workouts on uphill and downhill slopes will acclimate you to the effort of changing elevation while running. Work on developing a slower pace while climbing to conserve energy.
- TAPER WORKOUTS
Alter the majority of your workouts to put out less effort for 2 weeks prior to events at altitude. The first week should be run at 65% of normal, while the second should be run at 45% of normal speed. Don’t forget to include a few runs with full intensity and maintain your normal diet throughout. This will allow more recovery and energy conservation, but maintain preparation.
- EAT GOOD MEALS
Avoid too much carbo-loading before race time. It may leave you bloated and uncomfortable. We recommend high-starch veggies for carbs the night before a run, and we encourage foods that are unrefined, easily digestible, and high in nutrient absorption.
- STAY HYDRATED
At elevation, dehydration occurs more rapidly, especially when you’re breathing faster and sweating as you run. It’s vitally important that you stay properly hydrated, so prepare in advance by limiting alcohol intake and increasing water intake, and look for water along the race route.
- ARRIVE EARLY…BUT NOT TOO EARLY
You may know, it typically takes your body 24-48 hours to acclimate to altitude. Lesser known is the fact that our bodies experience a short lag sometime after 48 hours, so we suggest showing up no more than a few days before the race to briefly acclimate your body and prepare for the run.
- SLEEP TIGHT
It’s important that you give your body the proper rest in preparation for a run, and many people toss and turn during their first night at elevation. Recognize the proper amount of sleep for you to feel rested and don’t short yourself, but don’t go to bed too early or you could be in for a restless night.
- RUN SLOW TO START
It’s crucial to pace yourself when running at elevation and that often means running far slower than what may feel normal. This is a natural response to the increased effort at elevation, so pace yourself according to effort not speed. Your body will tell you what’s right, so listen.
- BREATHE RIGHT
Breathing is the most vital aspect of any run at elevation. It’s very important to use the proper technique and pace while pushing yourself under the increased atmospheric pressure at altitude. For more detail, don’t miss our post detailing 5 Steps to Effective Running & Breathing at Altitude.
- WEAR SUNSCREEN
Many people don’t think about the fact that at elevation they are actually closer to the sun, which leaves them more prone to sunburn. Don’t fall victim to this common problem by applying proper layers of sunscreen prior to hitting the course.
- ENJOY THE VIEW
It’s not all about the race time, especially in the mountains, so be sure to take moments to look around and literally breathe in the amazing views. This is the perfect way to lift your spirits in tough moments during the run. Remember that you are simply here to do something you love in a breathtakingly beautiful setting.
We’re confident that if you follow these tips, you’ll make the very best of your Redfish Memorial Run and any other run you may encounter at high altitude. But we’re sure you won’t find a more beautiful setting than the Redfish Lake and Stanley’s Sawtooth Mountains.
We’re still Accepting Registrations for the 2015 Redfish Memorial Run. Follow the link to learn more.