Getting Ready for the Big Day

I understand that races can sometimes be a bit nerve wracking and you may feel unsure on how to best prepare yourself for the race. As someone who has been running for over four years and has run countless races from 400 meters to half marathons I understand that feeling better than most. Since this day is supposed to be about fun and about all of the incredible things GiGi’s Playhouse does for individuals with Down syndrome I am here to give you some of my best advice for how to decently prepare yourself for race day and hopefully settle some of your nerves.

The first thing I always like to do is get up with plenty of time to spare. Getting up early isn’t always easy but proves to be worth it in the end. Plus, if you get a proper night’s rest (which I would suggest) then it isn’t all that bad. Next, I would make sure to eat a proper breakfast. Something that is healthy but also has a decent amount of carbs. A bagel with peanut butter is usually my go-to but it’s up to you. I also tend to eat a banana since those tend to help with side stitches (pain felt on the side of the abdomen that occurs during physical activity) so if you are prone to getting those I might also try that. I would make sure to give your breakfast enough time to digest before your race. I usually try to eat at least two hours beforehand but everyone is different so it’s truly up to you.

When you get to the race it could be in your favor to do a warmup. I usually do a mile of easy  jogging and a few strides (short bouts of faster running with a recovery in between) but everyone is different. Maybe some jogging or speed walking around the block would work best for you or even some jumping jacks. Anything that gets your blood flowing and heart pumping should work just fine. Another thing I typically do before a race is stretch. Stretching really doesn’t take long and is a good way to get your muscles ready for the race.

Some last minute things I typically do before any race is go to the bathroom even if I don’t think I have to and make sure that my shoes are tied tight. Lastly and most importantly, have fun! Today is all about spending time with your friends and family and helping to shift awareness to acceptance.

The mission of GiGi’s Playhouse is to bring global awareness and acceptance and you are helping to do that by being a part of this Acceptance Challenge. So, we thank you and we hope that whether you are setting a goal to run your first 5k or just want to have some fun and support GiGi’s Playhouse we hope you have the best of times and create some splendid memories!

-Adison W.

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