JPMC: Runner’s Guide to Rocking the Race

Racing the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge at Next Jump is fun–but how do you rock the race?  3.5 miles (5.63 km) is no joke–especially on a hot, humid day such as the one NYC just experienced this past Wednesday night.

THE RIGHT TRAINING

3.5 miles is considered a short, fast distance.  But it is a tough race for people who do not incorporate running on a weekly basis.

How to kill it: run every week leading up to the race.  This means running about 2-3x per week at 20-30 minutes per session.  Although weight lifting, boxing, pilates, and yoga will build and tone muscles, those types of exercises will not translate into aerobic endurance necessary for the JPMC distance.  If the goal is to competitively race the JPMC, you should include aerobic exercises every week to build up stamina.

Start now: Build up toward 20-30 minute workouts, five days per week.  Three of the five days should focus on aerobic exercises (biking, running, rowing, elliptical, swimming, stair-master, cycling, dancing, etc).  The remaining days should include strength and core building exercises (weight lifting, boxing, pilates, yoga).

THE RIGHT HYDRATION PRE-EVENT

Dehydration increases the risk for heat exhaustion, which can lead into heat stroke (life-threatening: body temperatures can hit 104 F (40 C) or higher).  Sweat and electrolyte (e.g., sodium and potassium) losses are inevitable during a race– greater fluid intake leading up to the race is a must.

How to kill it: Follow the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) fluid guidelines to maximize hydration status.  The guidelines are as follows:

  • At least four hours before exercise, drink the following amount of water: take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2 to get your weight kilograms (kg).  Multiply your weight in kg by 5 to get the amount of mL you need on the low end of the range.  Then multiply your weight in kg by 7 to get the amount of mL you need on the high end of the range.  For reference, 236 mL = 1 cup.
  • If you do not produce urine, or if the urine is dark yellow, about two hours before the event you should slowly drink more beverage (for example, another ~3–5 mL per kg of body weight).
  • By hydrating several hours before the event, you have adequate urine output before the time of the event.

Start now: Nailing this one takes practice (if you’ve ever had to run with a full bladder…)  Try consuming 1-2 cups of fluids per meal and 1 cup with snacks, or ideally, you would try the calculation above 🙂  Adequate meal consumption is also critical to ensure proper hydration status since eating foods promotes fluid intake and helps to replace total body water.

NOTE: Dehydration is a critical condition.  How can you tell if you are dehydrated? See here for signs and symptoms.

THE RIGHT NUTRITION

Practicing weight control and restricting calories or macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fat) has inherent dangers (in general) but especially when competing in a race.  Low energy intake has detrimental effects; at first, there is a compromise of total muscle mass and glycogen stores (where the carbohydrate you consume is stored for quick energy).  Higher risks of bone and muscle mass degeneration are possible; long-term low energy intake can also increase the risk of many illnesses, fatigue, and injury.

How to kill it: Consume beverages with sodium or eat a small amount of salted snacks during the day to help stimulate thirst and retain fluids.  Don’t eliminate an entire macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat).  Know and learn which foods may make you poo, upset your belly or make you feel tired.  I have provided a sample day of studied tolerable foods for proper sports nutrition; but the best foods to consume are the ones tried and trusted.

Start now: Build your best meals by following the ChooseMyPlate method.  Have 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day.  Estimate total calorie needs with me to fine-tune your overall diet as it compares to your energy expenditure (activity level).

THE RIGHT SOCKS & SNEAKERS

You can have everything right — and then blister up your feet.

How to kill it: Follow my sneaker guidance. Figure out if you are an over, under or neutral pronator by looking here. Try some non-cotton running socks (DRYmax or DRYroad are good brands) that allow for better cushioning, and remove moisture.

Start now: Road Runner, Paragon and Foot Locker all sell the above socks through our site!  If you have a question about other brands, please let me know and I am happy to research.  Thorlo is another great brand, but thicker, meaning better for cooler temperatures.

THE RIGHT RUNNER’S ETIQUETTE

Stay tuned for a special “Runner’s Etiquette” post.  Some topics I will review include, “how to spot an idiotic runner,” and “how to respect fellow runners on race day.”  Most importantly, I will review how to avoid being labeled as an idiotic runner, if you think you are one 🙂


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