The race is on! The Peachtree Road Race is held in Atlanta every year on July 4th. If you plan on being a participant, are you ready? Plenty of seasoned runners lace up for this 10K (6.2 mile) event, but it appeals to athletes of all fitness levels.
We consulted with Jennifer Hopper, manager of the Piedmont Hospital Health and Fitness Club, to compile our top five tips to make the most of your experience if you are a beginner or intermediate runner planning to participate in the race.
What you wear provides comfort and support, so select your attire carefully. Running shoes must be in good condition. If they are new, they must feel comfortable as soon as you put them on and throughout your run. Moisture-wicking clothing with help your body stay cool during these humid summer days.
We are two and a half weeks out from race day. By now, most participants should have a training schedule that empowers them to do a walk/run for at least 60 minutes. An example is warming up with a five-minute walk, and then running for three minutes, walking for one minute, and alternating this pattern 10 times followed by a five-minute walking cool down. Alternate walk/run days with an activity other than running like swimming, biking or just walking for one hour. Rest is an important part of a training program so include rest every fourth day.
Hydration must occur before, during and after activity. At the race, there are water stops at every mile of the race. As you train, be sure to hydrate accordingly. One rule of thumb is divide your weight in half, and that is the amount of water in ounces you should drink each day. For example, 160 pounds divided by two equals 80 ounces of water per day. For every half hour of exercise, add eight ounces. If you are exercising for more than 90 minutes at a time, add a sports drink.
If you are a slow runner, stay to the right side of the course at all times. The faster runners will pass on your left, and you will not impede the running traffic. On the official Peachtree Road Race website, it states, “Be sure not to stop suddenly or veer into the paths of other runners. If you’re running with friends, run no more than two abreast. Doing this will keep traffic on the course moving smoothly.”
You are now part of an Atlanta Institution! Be sure to embrace and enjoy this fun-filled feast for the spirit. Atlanta’s most colorful characters show up for this event, and it is a sight to behold. The Peachtree Road Race is a special way to celebrate Independence Day as a community in this great city! Do not forget to have fun and live in the moment.
For more tips, connect with any of the exercise physiologists at the Piedmont Hospital Health and Fitness Club or the Atlanta Track Club. And remember, do not start any new physical activity without first checking with your physician. Yearly check-ups keep our bodies running in the best possible direction!