Michael Roeger is an Australian T46 athletics competitor. He competed at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Paralympics in athletics in middle distance running events, and is the current world record holder for the men's 1500m T46.
Michael's Race Day Tips
Always warm up and cool down - Warming up signals to the body that it will soon have to start working. By slowly raising your heart rate, the warm up also helps minimize stress on the body and heart when you start your run.
It is as equally important to do a similar cool down this will help waste products from the muscles, reduce stiffness and soreness and enable you to get back on your feet in a shorter period.
I start warming up about 50-55 minutes before the race starts and for my event, I do some light drills to prepare for the race. For my warm up run I generally do about 15 minutes starting very slowly and do two or three quick strides throughout to wake the legs. After doing a few more long strides at pace before the start, I am ready to go.
- Stay relaxed
- Try not to do too much different than normally done in training
- Have a standard breakfast that you know will sit well in your stomach
- Make sure you race shoes have been run in several times and are comfortable
- Stay well hydrated in the days leading up to the race without over hydrating
- Have a pacing plan for the race, the best strategy is to run an even pace the entire way and not going out faster than you are hoping to run
Race Day Recovery
It is very important to recover after any hard training session or race. Eat some carbs or protein to help rebuild those damaged muscles. (Don’t wait too long to eat something, studies have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise).
Stretch post run, it is the best time to stretch as your muscles will be warm and flexible. Take an ice bath, it may not be enjoyable but it is an efficient way to reduce inflammation and soreness in your entire body. Get a massage this is a great relief for muscle pain and tightness, you can also use a foam roller or various other massage tools. And Sleep!
Enjoy the race - You've come through the training and done the hard work, ensure you make the most of your experience.