The annual 10km Vancouver Sun Run is set for April 17th and thousands of runners will embrace the streets of downtown. The Sun Run is Canada’s largest 10km race. The beautiful scenery, well organized course and entertainment throughout are just one of the many reasons for its major success. To ensure your personal success, whether it is your first time or your tenth time, check out the following tips.
- Train for the run! Many have ran a few kilometers, 5km or even a 10km in the past, but that doesn’t mean you are ready for the Sun Run. You should be training for the run at least 8-10 weeks in advance.
- Have a training partner. It makes it a lot easier to get out for a long training run if you have someone to go with you. If you don’t have a training partner, try to join a run group. Often shoe stores, gyms or independent trainers will host running clinics.
- Stretching. It is really important to keep your muscles limber throughout your training to prevent cramping and scar tissue build up. Never stretch cold muscles, so remember to do dynamic stretching before your runs and static stretches after your runs. (Dynamic means you are moving while you stretch and static means you hold the stretch for 30-45 seconds.)
- Foam Roll. Find a foam roller that you like (usually $25-50) and use this either before you run, after you run or ideally both. Foam rolling is very efficient for decreasing scar tissue build up and helps to maintain the elasticity of your muscles.
- Therapy. Some examples of what runners can benefit include: Deep tissue massage with a registered massage therapist, Active Release Technique/spinal adjustments from a chiropractor, muscle imbalance rehab on the RedCord/IMS from physiotherapist, supplement management from a naturopath, and overall health management with acupuncture, osteopathy and counseling.
- Hydrate. It is imperative to be well hydrated for all training runs and even more so for race day. Take advantage of the water stations and have some water along the course.
- Caffeinate. Consider a pre-workout or caffeinated beverage before your runs to give you a little extra energy. Remember that caffeine can be dehydrating, so drink more water. It would not be advisable to caffeinate before race day, if you haven’t in any previous training runs.
- Carbohydrate Loading. It is not essential to carb load the days leading up to or the night before the Sun Run. This is more important when training for longer runs such as a full marathon. Eat your normal meals, with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Keep Moving. During the Sun Run, you may experience some pain in your legs. This is completely normal and is just a build up of lactic acid. After you cross the finish line, it is a really good idea to continue walking for 15-20 minutes to help keep the blood flowing and speed your recovery.
- Ice. When you get home after the run, take a cold shower or sit in a tub with a few bags of ice for 10-15 minutes. This will really help with inflammation, pain and accelerate your healing and prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.
These are just a few tips to help make your Sun Run more comfortable and most importantly more fun! Good luck!