Rachel Lichten, of Bexley, Ohio, has run 28 half-marathons and so many 5Ks that she’s lost count. Lichten’s family was instrumental in founding the Team NPF Run in Columbus. Here, she presents her insider tips to prepare you for your first — or next — Team NPF Run.
Go to a real running store, not a general sporting goods store, and get properly fitted. The right fit can dramatically minimize the risk of injury.
Never try anything new on race day. I always try out my shoes, shirt, shorts, even my pre-run food and mid-run fuel. I don’t want any surprises on race day.
When trying to figure out what to wear, the rule is 20 degrees. Your body heats up about 20 degrees during a run. When getting dressed, ask yourself if you would be comfortable standing still in what you’re wearing if it were 20 degrees warmer than it currently is outside.
Don’t just hydrate, pre-hydrate. Drink lots of water in the days leading up to the run. If you drink too much during a run, you’ll get sloshy. Pre-hydrating can’t be over emphasized.
After the race: leg drains. I am a huge proponent of leg drains. As soon as you cross the finish line, find a wall. Lie down in front of the wall, scoot your bottom as close to touching the wall as you can and put your legs on the wall so your body is at a 90-degree angle. Stay there for about five minutes. This position helps drain the lactic acid and decrease soreness the next day.
Ready to run with Team NPF?
Team NPF Run holds events all over the country. Check our calendar for a run near you – and if there isn't one, learn how you can run your own race and help us raise funds to find a cure.
Photo: The Lichten family at a Team NPF 5K in Columbus, Ohio. Clockwise from left rear: Sam, Jason, Rachel, Jake, Sophie.
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