Preparation for a running competition

Do you like to run and you have a training routine? Would you like to apply your training in a competition? It really doesn’t matter whether you want to compete against other runners, time, distance or just for your better feeling. Don’t waste your time, we can strongly recommend, and you won’t regret it.


The performance in competition is usually to great extent a result of our training effort. If we will be honest with ourselves, we will be able to judge on what level is at the moment our physical condition. Why are we then able to surprise even ourselves with our performance in positive as well as in negative meaning of the word? There are many factors which are partaking on the result. If you think about them, it is highly probable that your performance will be only growing.

The main difference between training and competition is a psychological factor playing role in our performance. Before the start of the race (even days or weeks before) you may get doubts whether you will be able to finish the race? Or that you will be last. Believe it, that if you don’t try it, you will instead regret that you didn’t even attempted to try it. The best “helper” here is the experience after running in many competitions and races.

If you are not seasoned runner yet, it is good to hold back few kilometers right after the start. Immediately after the start there is a release of adrenaline going on in your body, while you may feel motivated you can quickly run out of energy if you start to run too fast, because you may feel pressured by other runners and the desire to run as fast as possible. We advise you to start with a slower running pace. You will have plenty of room to run fast on the track. Before the competition you can set a tempo on a sporttester which you know you can finish the race with from the training.


Even though you have a big portion of kilometers ahead of you, don’t succumb to the thought that you will warm up during the race. Light 10 minute warm up along with several exercises of dynamic stretching, which will set your body into a correct temperature, and it also serves as prevention against any health problems which may occur during the race but also in your sports career generally. Exception can be only massive competitions where it takes time till 10000 runners cross the start line, and you would cool down in the meantime. Therefore we recommend to jump or jon on the spot in order to stay warmed up.


CLPripravaNaBezeckyZavodIt is not good to sleep day before the competition with a full stomach. You should get a good sleep and get as much energy as possible. Therefore it is optional to eat last big meal for lunch, and in the evening eat something lighter. The best option here is probably pasta. But even salads are not bad at all, if you won’t use heavy dressings. But if you are used to a specific type of food and you will keep it in moderation, you can basically eat anything.

It is important to keep the drinking regime constantly. However before the competition even more. It is good to sufficiently hydrate yourself, but drink in smaller portions (cca 200 ml / 6-7 oz per half hour). It is also important to supply your body with minerals (salt, magnesium, iron), so that you wouldn’t be troubled by spasms during the race.


In case you feel pain, deal with it as soon as possible. It happens quite often that one week before the competition you get injured when you want to check your form, usually muscle injury or other type of injury occurs. And you ask yourself “why now?”... Even though your body should be now in top form, it is at the same time very sensitive, because physical preparation and psychological tension joined with hormonal changes may cause some troubles. Ignoring this pain and thinking you can walk it out can lead to even bigger problems. Pain is a warning signal that something is not right. Our movement behavior is then changing, so the pain decreases but your organism is thrown off balance, certain parts of your body are burdened more, and the degenerative process of the tissues is speeded up (ageing of the organism and with it joined problems) or it can lead to direct traumatic injury in the area which replace the function of the injured area.

Every athlete should from time to time consult their health condition with physiotherapist, who is able to reveal if the person does certain activities with incorrect movement. At the same time you can use the benefits of radial shock wave therapy and deep vibrational massage within the regeneration, but even directly as a preparation for the race in the sense of treating the muscle so they would be in ideal muscle tension.

Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: ŠKORPIL, M. Škorpilova škola běhu. Mladá fronta. Praha: 2014. ISBN 978­80­204­3290­2.

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